Torah Bag

Store your things in a Torah bag this Simchat Torah!

torah-bag

We have been spending Yom Tov with my parents. The rabbi of their shul gives Torah cards to any kid who wishes him a good Shabbos or Yom Tov, which is the highlight of shul for many kids. My kids amassed quite a collection over all of the holidays. On Sunday morning of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, my daughter came up with a great idea of how to store them – make a “Torah bag.” She proceeded to direct my mom to give her specific supplies and put together an amazing bag!

Since they were working with limited supplies, I put together an upgraded version to share with you. I think these are adorable and have multiple potential uses if you do not have Torah cards. Bring them to shul on Simchat Torah to collect whatever the kids get there (candy overload is one of my pet peeves but that is for a different discussion). Use them as favor bags at an upsherin. Or, as my daugher helpfully suggested, just use them for storing Shopkins.

Torah Bag

Time:
Active: 30 minutes
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint or glue

Age: 2-9

Materials:
Brown paper bag
Something with which to decorate the bag – paint, markers, crayons, stickers
2 paper towel rolls
Tinfoil
Scissors
Glue or tape

Process:
Trim off approximately 2.25″ from the top of the paper bag. The allows the paper towel tubes to stick out on the top and the bottom. Decorate your bag however you want. We had crown stickers, so I used one here, along with our favorite dot paint.

Cover the paper towel tubes with tinfoil. I didn’t find it necessary to use any glue or tape, just tuck the edges in at the ends.

Glue or tape the back of the bag to the paper towel rolls. Only attach the top 2/3 of the bag. Do not glue or tape the bottom part of the bag or it will not fold flat.

gluing-bag

Allow to dry, fill and enjoy!

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Pop-up Apple Place Cards for Rosh Hashanah

Make your holiday table fun with pop-up apple place cards!

apple place card

School has begun, long sleeves have been stocked in the drawers, and our neighbor’s tree is full of apples…fall is just about here and that means Rosh Hashanah is just around the corner. The kids will almost certainly bring flimsy plastic honey dishes home from school that you want to figure out how to avoid using (“Let’s keep it clean, so we don’t mess it up!”) and you definitely do not need more of those hanging around. This is neater and more personal project that you can use to decorate your table while helping your guests find their seats.

While you can stick to authentic apple colors, there is no reason you need to! Especially for the youngest artists, scribbling in multi-colors will just make these look more fun. I think I prefer the colorful ones!  You could also crumple small pieces of tissue paper in red, green and yellow and glue them to the apples for added dimension. Or use pompoms in place of tissue paper in a rainbow of colors!

full sheet

I printed my cards on regular paper since my printer can be stubborn about printing on card stock but if your printer can handle it or if you are drawing the apples yourself, I recommend a heavier weight paper so that the place cards will stand up nicely, especially if you are gluing on any decorations. You can download the template here.

 

Pop-up Apple Place Cards

Time:
Active: 30 minutes, depending on how many you make
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint or glue

Age: 2-9

Materials:
Paper or place card template
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, tissue paper, pompoms, etc.
Scissors
Glue if needed

Process:
Draw your apple outlines on a card of your own size choice, or download and print ours. I sized them so they fit six on a page.

Decorate in any way you want. We just used markers.

When they are decorated, cut the cards into individual pieces. Fold each card in half.

folded

Cut out the shape of the apple on the top part of the card only! This proved to be a bit tricky for the leaf and stem so I suggest helping out younger children.

cutting

Add names below the apple and place one at each seat at your table.

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

Waterproof Sukkah Decorations Round-up

Get an early jump on Sukkah decorations!

If your last week of summer involves lots of googling “fun things to do with kids,” then take a few minutes to check out some Sukkah decoration ideas! Your future self will thank you. I scoured the web for waterproof decorations, so you don’t end up with a pile of soggy chains decorating your sukkah floor.

Plastic Bottle Flowers

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Straw Bunting
straw bunting
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Straw and Bead Stars
bead stars
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Straw and Bead Necklaces
Make long strings of these and hang as chains!
straw and bead necklace
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Pool Noodle Garland
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Melted Bead Suncatcher
Even though she says the beads did not ruin her baking tins, I would probably use disposable ones!
bead suncatcher
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Plastic Dish Flowers
I would use disposable plastic plates and bowls in different colors. Punch a hole in the top and hang down the walls
plate art copy
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Glue Pictures
glue pics
Did you do any of these projects? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

The Well-Stocked Art Supply Bin

Restock your art supplies during the back to school sales!

school-supplies

I always loved back to school shopping. All those fancy pens and glittery folders made both walking to aisles and later using the supplies fun. This is the first year my daughter needs supplies and I was sad to see that the list instructs us as to the color of all the folders, and that all the pencils, markers, etc. are placed in bins for general use, so splurging on fancy ones will be a waste. I still might decide to get her one fancy pencil to keep for her personal use!

With all the back to school supplies sales however, this is the perfect time of year to restock your basic art supplies. As you may have noticed if you have been following me here, I tend towards using very basic supplies, so many of them will be on sale! Kosher on a Budget is my go-to source for the best prices. She posts a weekly round-up of the best school supplies deals each week. Here is a list of what I consider “essential” and a second list of “extras.”

“Essentials”
Construction paper
Glue (glue sticks do not work well in my opinion, even if they are neater!)
Kid-friendly scissors
Crayons
Markers
Washable acrylic paint
Watercolor paint
Paint brushes
Clear tape
Masking tape

“Extras”
Textured or patterned papers
Sequins and jewels
Pom poms
Pipe cleaners
Paper fasteners
Dot paints (we will the “Do A Dot brand)
Glue gun

Rebuilding Yerushalayim (in paper)

Use paper to create your own version of Yerushalayim on Tisha B’av.

yerushalayim

Tisha B’av marks the saddest day on the Jewish calendar. It is also one of the hardest days to be a parent. You don’t have the luxury of spending the day in shul and then taking a long nap. There are small people waiting to be fed and want you to play with them. Additionally, you want to convey some sense of the day to them, just as you would with any other holiday, but in an age appropriate way.

I am always on the lookout for Tisha B’av projects that relate to the day. One that you can do even with small kids is building a paper Yerushalayim. You can cut out the shapes in advance or have older kids cut their own shapes. Then let them mix and match and create their own Yerushalayim. Show the kids how to layer the shapes to show dimension, so some buildings are close up and some are further away.

You can add in print-outs of friends or family living in Israel, or the kids themselves. We used plain construction paper but any type of textured or shiny gold paper would add an extra dimension here. Print out close ups of Jerusalem stone to add in as “bricks” or buildings. You could do a Kotel scene, or any other place in Israel that has meaning to you and your kids.

We hope that by next year, we will already see the real rebuilt Yerushalayim!

 

Building Yerushalayim

Time:
Active: 30 minutes, depending on involved you get

Age: 2-8

Materials:
Construction or any other kind of colored or textured paper
Glue
Scissors

Process:
Cut out a variety of shapes. We mainly used squares, rectangles and domes, with a triangle for the sun and some bird shapes but really almost anything will work.

 

supplies

Arrange the pieces on a sheet of paper. Layer pieces to create a full city with depth. Once you have arranged the pieces to your satisfaction, glue them down.

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

Shavuot Flowers

Decorate Har Sinai or make a bouquet!

har sinai

In our dining room, we have one wall that is saved for hanging up the kids’ projects. It rotates seasonally, and we have school projects and crafts we have done at home. It’s at the point where it can never be blank, or it just looks like something is missing. Kids love having their artwork displayed and this being a very prominent location gives them a lot a pride.

Well, the Pesach projects were still hanging as of today, so I knew we needed to move on. We took down the matza and seder plate (school projects were saved for now, paper we cut into shapes and taped up there was recycled while no one was looking). And now, what could we put up for Shavuot? My daughter wanted to put up a big Har Sinai. Har Sinai itself ended up being both green and brown, based on what colors were left in the package of construction paper. Then we decorated it with some flowers that used paper and my favorite art supply, the paper fastener! These were really easy and came out looking beautiful.

flowers

Shavuot Flowers

Time:
Active: 30 minutes, depending on how many you make
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Paper or flower template
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, etc.
Scissors
Paper fasteners

Process:
Draw your flower outlines, or download and print ours. I sized them so we would have a three layered flower in the end, with each flower being slightly smaller than the next.

Decorate in any way you want. We used watercolors, which have been a favorite recently.

kids painting

When they are dry, cut them out. This proved to be a bit tedious, but I stacked two sheets of paper together and cut them simultaneously. Stack the flowers with the largest one on the bottom and the smallest on top. Poke a hole with the paper fastener through the center of all 3 flowers.

If you don’t have a wall to hang them on, use a pipe cleaner instead of a paper fastener and make a bouquet! Decorate an empty bottle by pasting on squares of tissue paper and you have just made a lovely Shavuot centerpiece.

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Pesach Puppets

Act out the story of Pesach with adorable puppets!

moshe aaron

As I was cleaning up the remains of Purim, I gathered up a whole stack of puppets the kids brought home from school. I got to thinking – why does Purim get all the puppet fun? The Pesach story is just as dramatic and part of the Seder experience is to feel like we ourselves left Egypt. What better way then telling the story with puppets!

matza marror

Matza and Marror

A definition of terms – when I say puppet, you might be thinking of the kind made of a sock, or a marionette. My version is much simpler – just cut out some paper and tape it to a stick or straw. Much easier and friendly to make for any age. The kids absolutely loved doing these. We started them on Sunday afternoon and spent an hour decorating. We finished Monday after school and spent another hour making more and attaching them to the sticks. Obviously, your kids might be done in 10 minutes, especially if they are younger, but older kids can really use their creativity here. It isn’t a super fancy thing, but it really was so much fun.

Last year my daughter made a set of Pesach puppets all by herself, which yielded the amazing results only the drawings of a 5 year old can do. They were great fun, so I thought why not expand the repertoire and make not only puppets of people, but Seder objects too like mazta and marror puppets? Make a bunch and hand them out at your seder. Whenever the item on your puppet is mentioned, raise it up high! It’s a great way to keep kids interested, almost like searching for Haman in the Megillah. They will be waiting for the next mention of matza to wave their puppet! Many of them will be surprised that the Moshe puppet will be used only once throughout the whole seder and the whole story of Moshe in the basket isn’t mentioned at all. Create your own or download and print ours.

While they all came out adorably, we made a sea that splits and I think this might be my favorite one! We used both tissue and construction paper in as many shades of blue as we had that we glued on to a circle of paper. When it was dry, we cut it in half and then attached one end with a paper fastener. It didn’t seem like a good idea to put this one on a stick.

sea closed

Moshe holds his staff over the sea…

sea open

…and it splits!

The age of the kid will dictate how sophisticated these come out. My younger daughter did this one of Baby Moshe, of which she was very proud.

baby moshe

If you use them at your seder be sure to let us know!

Pesach Puppets

Time:
Active: 1-2 hours, depending on attention span
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using glue

Age: 2-9

Materials:
Paper
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, etc.
Decorating materials – tissue paper, construction paper, shiny paper, fabric, pompoms – the ideas can be endless!
Glue
Scissors
Tape
Popsicle sticks or straws
Puppet downloads

Process:
Draw your puppet outlines, or download and print ours. Decorate in any way you want. I liked gluing on ripped paper. We used light blue tissue paper for the salt water dish and construction paper for the shank bone.

progress

When they are done, tape to a popsicle stick or straw (I prefer the non-bending type for projects like this). For Moshe and Aaron’s staffs, I added an extra piece of straw perpendicular to the main straw, since otherwise they were flapping around and were sure to rip (look closely at the first picture in the post to see what I mean). If you are using our downloads, I felt popsicle sticks were too small for the scale of those cut outs, but if you make your own smaller ones, they will work great.

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

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