Etrog half, peel and seed
We are lucky if we have an etrog. We are obscenely lucky if we have 15 of them. After Sukkot my 2nd and 3rd graders got to explore leftover congregational etrogim in class: boxes and boxes of glorious, weird, bumpy, fragrant, delicious and gorgeous etrogim.
Look at some of the neat things we are doing: Continue reading
buffet of sorted components, including real twigs
I’ve written about LEGO sukkahs (and a bunch of other kinds of kid-created tabletop versions), but I just realized I didn’t report about our classroom LEGO sukkah build last year. Continue reading
small lulav leaf brushes for bedikat and biur chametz
This quick DIY takes longer to explain than to make. It’s a wee brush for the night and morning before Passover: a riff on the traditional repurpose of using Sukkot’s lulav for the pre-Passover Search and Destroy mission. Continue reading
Before Sukkot, our shul’s myrtle twigs shipped from Israel in gaudy Hebrewlicious plastic sleeves. The three branches per pack were destined to join the lulav for a week of shaking in the sukkah. But what of the destiny of the now empty purple packets? I could not imagine throwing them away. The siddur font, the Mardi Gras magenta, Continue reading
four Lulav leaf weaving experiments
I’m still playing with leftover lulav leaflets. Consider this an in-progress Show and Tell. Six different projects so far. Scroll down to see some serious lulav love. Continue reading
Lulav Chain garland
Here’s a nifty way to re-purpose your now superfluous lulav after Sukkot: a Lulav Chain for next year’s sukkah. All-natural, thematic, respectful (to a ritual object) and genuinely pretty. No staples, no glue. I find it strangely soothing to assemble the links as fast as possible, but taken at a leisurely pace, even older kids can join in and help “re-cycle.” Continue reading
LEGO minifig lulav and etrog
Our LEGO minifigs now have an appropriately-scaled lulav and etrog for their LEGO sukkah. For a few years, they’ve heard rumours that our Playmobil folk had a set, but now, both populations can shake and wave and sniff and try not to poke out each other’s eyeballs. Continue reading
Lincoln Log sukkah. With steps for Bubbe.
Psssst: a kid-crafted mini sukkah made with construction toys is way, way easier on you, the adult, than say, with edibles or up-cycled boxes. LEGO and Lincoln Logs and suchlike do not require you to run for the scissors and glue, to monitor frosting consumption, Continue reading
One piece of paper, folded. Add herbs for fragrant roof.
Kids can make a quick, mini sukkah from a single piece of construction paper. Quick doesn’t mean without context: you can teach the rules of sukkah-building (how many walls, type of roof, schach, etc.) and give an overview of the holiday while kids work. Continue reading
10 year-old etrog pomander and a fresh one, awaiting puncture
Sukkot’s over. Did you buy an etrog? Or did your school or synagogue buy one? If so, don’t pitch it on the compost pile. You and your kid can repurpose it into a nifty spice pomander for Havdalah. It’s a nice way to extend Sukkot (and the harvest’s bounty) to a Jewish service/ceremony that happens every single week. The spices of Havdalah—called besamim—are supposed to be natural materials that smell lovely enough to console us for the loss of Shabbat and to kickstart a good week ahead. A clove-studded etrog can Continue reading
Apparently, I have more to say about the Edible Sukkah. The big thing is that most folks skip the first and crucial step: to “glue” (with frosting, Nutella, whatever) a floor cracker to the plate. This anchors the whole structure, it gives the walls something to stick to, and it significantly reduces the frustration factor for little kids. Building a sukkah should be a treat, not a trial. Continue reading
top view of child-made edible sukkah with Nitwit candies
Here are a few easy tips about making an edible sukkah from graham crackers and pretzel sticks. Way easier than my meticulous post with step-by-step instructions and photos from two years ago: Make a Kosher Edible Sukkah for the obsessively organized.
Construction: Honey Maid graham crackers are ideal. They break evenly into squares just the right size for building a cube sukkah on a dessert plate. Use the whole rectangle (5″ long) if you are building on a dinner-size paper plate. Yes, they are kosher. Buy a bunch and use them for Sukkot s’mores later. Generic brands crumble when they break, and you will end up with a box full of rejects.
Roof: Snyder’s Pretzel Sticks (kosher) are the perfect length to span a Honey Maid Graham Cracker cube sukkah. Not rods or dippers, but Sticks. This year, I could only find them packaged in individual, 100 calorie bags. If you build a sukkah Continue reading
lulav lesson with Playmobil folk
Our action figures now have a model sukkah well-appointed for hospitable gatherings. Actually, we have several, because it’s hard to stop once we start. Yesterday’s post tried to outline a classic craft, a tabletop or model sukkah made from tissue boxes and shoe boxes, and also some ideas for free-builds using Legos, Lincoln Logs and other construction toys.
Lulav and etrog, polymer clay. The pitom is a broom straw
Box sukkah for Lego mini figs,with Lego kiddush cups and polymer clay challah
At Sukkot, we are commanded to dwell in a sukkah. This ideal may be out of reach for many, but it is definitely do-able for dolls. Any action figure can be an honored guest or hospitable host/ess in a tabletop or model sukkah.
A model sukkah is an easy, fun, and classic way to explore Sukkot with kids. Using whatever materials are already at hand, you can create a sukkah in miniature, play with it all week, use it as a centerpiece, and along the way take a look at the customs of the holiday and the rules of sukkah construction. Not sure about the details? Brush up at MyJewishLearning’s Sukkot page.
First, show your kid a real sukkah if you can, or pictures of different sukkot (plural for sukkah, and hey, the name of the holiday, too!) in books or online. It won’t make much sense Continue reading
instant edible sukkah with cereal “fruit”
(EDIT: if you are NOT in charge of a group project, see my newer post: Instant Edible Sukkah, Step-by-Step Photos. If you ARE in charge of a group project which will be held on the holiday in a “kosher” building, read on.)
In the interest of those who are in charge of a “Make Your Own Edible Sukkah” project, I offer this record. Learn from my experience, and add to it, if you can.
If your project is not conducted in a kosher building, you needn’t pay so much attention. For you awaits a world of candy, a universe of sugary confection in endless variety.
For the rest of us, alas, a ghetto of fruit gums. And it is for the rest of us that I type my notes; for the folks creating edible sukkahs in a kosher building and, even more restrictive, in a kosher building during the first two days of Sukkot, when “work” is not permitted.
Building a kosher sukkah on a holiday is easy and not so easy.
Finding kosher graham crackers is easy. Just keep in mind that some still come in perforated rectangles Continue reading
now playing, all the time
It’s not just for the High Holidays …
The toddler loves holidays. He doesn’t quite get the idea that they come and go, and don’t just hang around forever. Continue reading
A propitious day to start a blog: Simchat Torah. The fact that I’m on a computer during a festival, and the fact that we utterly forgot to go to synagogue last night to celebrate the festival ought to clue you in to the fact that I am not strictly “observant.” This morning, to try and make up for last night’s gaffe, my husband and I hauled out all our toy torahs and our one battered Simchat Torah flag and marched around the house (inside. It’s cold out there). The toddler totally bought it, but the teenager excused herself to another room. We do what we can.
We do what we can. This may be my mantra, when I remember it.
To console myself, I remember that I did bake a chocolate cake in honor of Shemini Atzeret just days ago. Not to mention the presence of the Sukkah in the back yard (and almost finished). And the homemade Yom Kippur break-fast. And the round, raisin challahs for Rosh Hashana. And the Star-of-David shaped “birthday cake to the world.” And the orchard-picked apples in Israeli honey, too. So, if I accidentally forgot about going to shul for the tenth time in a week, excuse me.
We do what we can.