Jewish Holday Crafts: Sukkot Edition

Since I work for a Jewish family, I have learned a bit about Judaism and its holidays. I have to admit, Sukkot is my favorite! If I understand correctly, it’s a celebration of nature and the fall harvest. There are some great opportunities for learning about nature and making some beautiful crafts!

The Sukkah: A sukkah is a temporary structure built outside, with 3 walls and an open roof made of organic materials (branches, palm leaves, bamboo, etc). Depending on the family’s custom, it is traditional to spend time in the sukkah by eating, sleeping, or praying in it during the week of Sukkot. The sukkah can be decorated as much as you like, as long as the roof remains open (you can see the sky). Here are some ideas for making sukkahs with your kiddos:

  • Use a shoebox as a “sukkah” for small toys.  Decorate with stickers, paints, drawings, pictures from magazines, or things from nature like acorns and leaves.
  • Challenge your kiddos to build a “sukkah” out of legos!
  • Build a sukkah together with popscicle sticks and glue and/or yarn.  Don’t forget to decorate it!

Sukkah Decorations:  You can decorate your full-size sukkah with lots of different things!  Just keep in mind that they will be exposed to the elements- dew, rain, wind, sunshine, outdoor animals.

  • “Weather-proof” paper chain:  Instead of making the chain out of paper, buy sheets of foam and cut it into strips!  Then you can just staple the strips into a chain!
  • Citron Sun Catchers– Make sure to laminate them or cover them with contact paper to make them more durable outside.
  • Leaf Lanterns– I posted these in one of my posts about leaf crafts, too. They’re just so pretty!  And imagine how pretty they’d be outside in a sukkah!

Other Fun Sukkot things:  Sukkot is a big celebration, so decorate indoors too!  And go on nature walks, too!

  • Autumn Leaf Garland- Let the kiddos pick their favorite autumn leaves (but keep in mind that you can’t use the ones that are crunchy- they need to be flexible). Cut off the stems, put a hole in them with a hole punch, and tie them loosely onto a long piece of yarn.  I like mine overlapping, but you can spread them out more too. This wouldn’t be durable enough to be strung outdoors.  The holes would too easily tear open.
  • Apple or Leaf prints- Put a little paint on half an apple or a flexible leaf, and see what happens when you press it gently onto thick paper!  You could also try making prints with other things- acorns, pinecones, mini pumpkins, rocks…
  • Books about Sukkot and coloring sheets- these can help to educate your kiddos (and if you’re a non-jewish nanny like me, they can help educate you as well!) about this lovely holiday. Here’s a few pretty coloring sheets to get you started.

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