Yerushalayim Puzzle for Tisha B’av

Put Yerushalayim back together this Tisha B’av!

puzzle

Searching for meaningful activities on Tisha B’av can be tough. I wanted to create a craft that would give children a sense of the day. A puzzle seemed like a great format. By putting together the pieces, they can create the whole, just as we long to do with the Beit Hamikdash.

The concept here is simple – create a picture and then cut it up and let them put it back together. I drew a very simple image of Yerushayalim, but a coloring page printed out from google works fine.  We painted it using sponges and brushes, but if paint on Tisha B’av is above your mess tolerance level, crayons, markers or whatever you want of course works just fine.

puzzle whole

Should your kid be the type who would cry if you cut up their picture, definitely do not do this step! Creating the picture will be enough art for this kid!

May the symbolism of children putting Yerushalayim back together serve as metaphor for our redemption!

Looking for more Tisha B’av projects?
Rebuilding Yerushalayim (in paper)

Yerushalayim Puzzle

Time:
Active: 15-20 minutes
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint

Age: 3-7

Materials:
Paper (We used card stock so it would hold up to cutting better. Thin cardboard like a cereal box works as well.)
Sponge
Paint
Scissors

Process:
Decorate your paper with a Yerushalayim scene. Cut a sponge into squares and dip it in paint to create the impression of bricks. Try not to leave too much white space or the puzzle will be too hard to put together.

I found the sponge paint to be thicker and take longer than usual to dry, so feed the kids lunch and then come back and check on it. When it’s dry, cut it into as many pieces as is age appropriate. Be careful cutting so you have some sort of color close to the edges to match up when putting it back together.

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

Advertisements

Har Sinai Hat (or Centerpiece)

When a party hat becomes Har Sinai!

har-sinai-hat

When we walked into daycare to pick up the baby, a two year old was having a birthday party. All the kids were wearing party hats, which was adorable, and my big kids were more than happy to eat their sister’s cupcake. The party hats were solid green…which triggered an idea. What if we made the hats into mini Har Sinais? Our daycare provider chimed in, reminding me of the gemara which says that at the time Hashem gave us the Torah, He held the mountain over our heads and we had no choice but to accept the Torah. Wearing a Har Sinai hat would be a funny way to illustrate that.

har-sinai-hat-on-head

I had envisioned these more as centerpieces and less as hats, but the kids found it hilarious to wear Har Sinai on their heads.

Looking for more Shavuot projects?
Shavuot Flowers

Har Sinai Hats

Time:
Active: 5-10 minutes
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Solid green party hat or green paper rolled in a cone shape
Flower stickers
Toothpick
2 small pieces of thin cardboard (a cereal box works well)

Process:
Decorate your hat with flower stickers, or glue on flowers cut from paper.

To make the luchot, cut the shape out of two pieces of carboard. I stacked them on top of each other while cutting to get them even. Put the toothpick between the two pieces and tape together. Insert into the small hole at the top of the hat.

 

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

Seder Place Cards

Have your kids be part of the seder prep by making place cards!

seder-placecard

The seder is most of the most central experiences of the Jewish year and it is noteworthy that it takes place not in shul, but at home. Here is a way to add to the home experience  that is practical and that will not need you to redo whatever the kids “cleaned” after they go to sleep.

You can download the template for seder place cards here. The directions for how to cut them out can be found on the Pop-up Apple Place Cards we did for Rosh Hashanah.

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

 

Chametz Hunt with Peek-a-boo Doors

Search for chametz behind each door!

chametz hunt done

Pesach cleaning has begun in many homes. My kids actually love to clean…sort of. They grab wipes and dust the shelves with great gusto, while cleverly ignoring the toys they stepped over on the way.  And of course the pinnacle of Pesach cleaning is bedikat chametz.  Sneaking around the house like a detective with a flashlight is definitely a good game to play.

When I was thinking about this search, I had the idea to translate it to paper. I was inspired by board books with flaps, which were always a great favorite. We cut out pictures of both chametz and Pesach food from the grocery circular and “searched for chametz” by peeking behind each door and discovering if the item behind the door is kosher of Pesach or not!

close up

Assembling this project took a while and we had lots of fun doing it. Picking out the food products to include was probably the highlight! The pictures of the circular were particularly nice because they are small enough to fit behind doors, and they were advertising Pesach products as well, so everything was easy to find in one spot.  If you don’t have a circular handy, you can always draw your pictures, or look through a magazine.

chametz hunt closed2

We are planning to hang our finished projects on the wall at a low height, so we can keep playing with them!

 

Looking for more Pesach projects?
Pesach Puppets

Chametz Hunt with Peek-a-boo Doors

Time:
Active: 45 minutes-1 hour
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint or glue

Age: 3-8

Materials:
2 sheets of card stock or construction paper
Grocery store circular
Glue
X-acto knife or scissors
6 small beads
Crayons or markers

Process:
Cut out or draw six food items, both chametz and kosher for Pesach.

Draw your doors. I found a 3″ square to fit nicely in two rows of three, but make your doors whatever shape you prefer.  Make sure the opening will be large enough to accomodate your food pictures. Decorate your doors with markers or crayons.

doors-drawn

Cut out each door on three sides using an X-acto knife or scissors. We varied the direction of our opening, left, right, up and down. Glue a small bead on each door to act as a handle.

chametz hunt closed

Squeeze a frame of glue on your second sheet of paper. Place the sheet of paper with the doors on top of the glue and push down to adhere. Underneath each flap, glue your food items.

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

Paper Plate Clowns for Mishloach Manot

Fill funny clowns with sweet treats for friends!

clown-shalach-manot

Last year, I posted on our facebook page about paper plate hamantashen mishloach manot. I was quite sure I had invented them as a kid until my husband informed me that EVERYONE did those. I then shared the post to my personal facebook page and a lively discussion insued with friends who grew up all over America and Canada…and lo and behold, he was totally correct. Hmph.

Well, this year we are using paper plates again but this time in the form of clowns. It can be hard to actually fit much inside of the paper plate hamantashen, and if you don’t staple them down all the way, small things can fall out the center hole! These clowns solve that problem. We created clown faces on the back of a paper plate and then we will fill a second plate with goodies. We then stapled the clown front on top.

The clown’s hair is made of paper grass. I was worried about finding it but the party store already has out a big Easter display and I had not trouble finding a bag of rainbow grass. For his bow tie, we used dot paint to cover a piece of paper and then cut out bow tie shapes from it. Wrapping paper would work great for this too. And of course you can use googly eyes, pompoms for a nose or cheeks or decorate any way you can dream up.

These would also make cute graggers. Just fill with beads or beans and make sure you really staple without gaps. Add a popsicle stick and you have an instant classic.

Looking for more Purim projects?
3-D Paper Hamantashen

Paper Plate Clowns for Mishloach Manot

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

Age: 2-8

Materials:
2 paper plates
Glue
Paper grass
Decorated paper, either wrapping paper or a piece of paper you colored yourself
Crayons or markers to draw a face
Scissors
Stapler
Optional – googly eyes, pompoms

Process:
Draw a face or glue one on in the center of the back of a paper plate. Glue on paper grass for hair and a bowtie. Don’t forget to write who this mishloach manot is from, either on the outside like we did or slip a note inside before stapling shut.

Fill a second plate with goodies. Staple your clown on top.

 

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

Mixed Media Trees for Tu B’Shvat

Create colorful trees using a variety of materials for Tu B’Shvat!

tree1

The weather this winter has been crazy so far. One week it’s in single digits, and the next it’s 60 degrees! But no matter the weather, Tu B’Shvat is coming up. It’s like a little (mostly indoor) preview of all the flowering and blossoming yet to come as the spring approaches. And winter break was the perfect opportunity to spend some time getting ready.

tree2

For this project, we used a variety of materials (mixed media, in art lingo). We used what we had around, which is pompoms, buttons and crumpled tissue paper. You can use just about anything to create your trees. Send the kids on quick nature walk and collect leaves and sticks for a more realistic looking tree. Some other ideas include sequins or jewels, construction paper or wrapping paper cut into shapes, star stickers, and foam shapes.

We drew our background first and then pasted on our trees, but you could also glue on other materials for an even more textured result.

Looking for more Tu B’Shavt projects?
Toilet Paper Roll Trees for Tu B’Shvat

 

Mixed Media Trees for Tu B’Shvat

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

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Paper
Glue
Popsicle sticks
Something with which to create your trees – pompoms, buttons, crumpled tissue paper (see more ideas in the post above)
Crayons or markers to draw a background

Process:
Draw a nature scene on a sheet of paper, or glue one on.

Cut a popsicle stick in half to use as a tree trunk. Glue on and then add the top of your tree, using whatever materials you would like.

 

 

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

Menorah and Dreidel Snowflakes

Make snowflakes in holiday shapes!

on-window

Full confession – snowflakes are just not my thing. I always seem to cut the wrong side and the whole thing falls apart, or my design just looks like a bunch of weird holes. But! thinking about the winter holiday of Chanukah, it seemed like snowflakes and Chanukah shapes just had to come together. My original idea was to have dreidel-shaped pieces of paper to cut into snowflakes but once you started to cut further designs into the dreidel, it lost it’s recognizable shape. It took many tries, but I finally hit on the idea of having the negative space form the dreidel. It looked a little plain with just a dreidel, so I also added a menorah. Snowflakes: consider yourself conquered!

done

We decorated with glitter glue, but as always, there is no wrong way to decorate these. If we had had glitter in the house, I was thinking of mixing some into paint and giving some shine that way, but plain old crayons will certainly get the job done should your horror of glitter extend as far as mine.

Hang them on the window where you are lighting your menorah and add some extra holiday spirit!

Looking for more Chanukah projects?
Light a Paper Menorah
Nature Menorahs
“Spinning” Paper Dreidel
Decorate a Dreidel…with a Dreidel!

Menorah and Dreidel Snowflakes

Time:
Active: 5 minutes for cutting (assuming you get it right the first time!), 10 minutes for decorating
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint or glue

Age: 4-7

Materials:
Paper
Scissors
Something with which to decorate the snowflakes – something glittery adds winter spirit

Process:
I recommend an adult do the cutting here to make sure it works out correctly. Fold your paper into eighths by folding in half, half again and then half again.  I unfolded the paper here to show you how it looks but keep your paper folded.

folded-paper

On the side with the folded seam, cut the shape of half a dreidel.

just-dreidel-side

On the opposite side, about halfway up the center of the dreidel, cut the shape of half a menorah. We just cut a shamash, since all eight candles seemed too hard, but if you are a scissor whiz, go for it! (Cut just 4 candles, since we are only cutting half of the total shape.)

both-sides-cut

Unfold and here is what it should look like!

all-cut

Feel free to keep cutting shapes around the edges, I just felt it was chancy and I might end up messing it up so I stuck with just the holiday shapes.

Decorate however you wish and then hang in the window!

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