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!

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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!

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!

“Light” a Paper Menorah

Even the youngest child can light a paper menorah!

lit

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start getting ready for Chanukah! I wanted to make something for kids who are old enough to know that we light a menorah on Chanukah but who are not old enough to be trusted with actual fire. Enter this paper menorah.

Start with a blank menorah. Draw your own (don’t forget flames!) or download the template here. We decorated our menorah by gluing on squares of tissue paper, which the kids really enjoyed but of course you could use markers, crayons or whatever you prefer . When it dried, we cut it out and then used paper fasteners to create flames that can be rotated upwards it’s time to “light” them.

none

Where are all the flames?

three

Tada! It’s the third night of Chanukah!

We use cardstock for our menorah which turned out not to have been a smart choice when if came time to attach the flames. The paper fasteners are not strong enough to poke through it on their own so I had to laboriously pre-poke holes in both the menorah and the flames and rotating the flames is a bit tough when done. Just use regular paper and you should be fine.

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

Lighting Paper Menorahs

Time:
Active: 15 minutes for decorating, 10 minutes for assembly by adult
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint or glue

Age: 2-8

Materials:
Drawing or printout of menorah and flames. Download the template here.
Something with which to decorate the menorah – we used squares of tissue paper and glue but paint, markers, crayons, or stickers would be great too.
Scissors
9 paper fasteners

Process:
Print out the template or draw your own menorah and decorate. Don’t worry if you go out the lines because it will be cut later. Let dry if needed.

assembled

Cut out the menorah and flames. We decided not to cut in between each branch since once the paper fasteners were attached they would weigh down the flimsy branches.

Attach flames by poking the paper fasteners from front to back. Turn over your menorah and decorated side facing out, slide the flame on to the fastener. Open fastener flaps and make sure flame can rotate.

poking

When you have all of the flames attached, here is what it should look like:

back

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

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!