Building a Sukkah during the seven day Jewish holiday of Sukkot is a tradition that many families follow. You have to follow the guidelines for constructing your hut, which include a roof you can see through and at least 2.5 or more walls.
There are no rules, however, for decorating your Sukkah. This is where all of the fun and imagination comes in. The crafts you choose to make with your children will largely depend on their age and ability level. A three year old can glue leaves onto fabric or paper, but will struggle with a stapler while attempting to make paper chains.
You should make your decorations a week or so before the holiday, so it is relevant to your children. Make sure to take plenty of pictures of them holding the finished project, as the Sukkah roof will not protect them from the weather should it rain. This way you have a pictorial souvenir of the finished product.
Crafting With Kids Creates Many Learning Opportunities
Long ago, everything was made by hand…crafting wasn’t a choice, it was a means of survival! From making clothing to furniture, everything was done by people until the Industrial Revolution. Crafting was not a means of entertainment or early childhood education-it could mean the difference between having a comfortable feather bed to sleep on or sleeping on the hard ground.
Many adults today craft for the sheer pleasure of it. Knitting classes, pottery classes, cooking classes, cake decorating and woodworking courses are all offerings that grown ups do because they think it is relaxing and fun.
In preschools across the world, children craft to each them about the concept being taught that day. For example, during the process of making a collage to learn about healthy foods, children:
Use scissor to cut out the foods (fine motor)
Use a glue brush to put the pictures on paper (fine motor)
Identify fruits, vegetables and other healthy food choices (identifying food groups)
Teachers ask questions, such as:
What food is red? (color identification)
What is your favorite fruit? (engaging the children in conversation to see how their receptive and expressive language skills are)
There is more to crafting with preschoolers than meets the eye!
I teach Hebrew School to first graders. I love this job because I get to do all kinds of crafts for the holidays, including Sukkot!
I also love making crafts with my children. The picture you see was done by my son several years ago. Before I undertake any major craft with my class, I have my kids road test it for me or I do it myself. This is an edible sukkah craft that I make with my first grade class every year. The directions on how to make an edible sukkah are are easy.
Fruit and Vegetable String Lights
In addition to child created decorations, it is also fun to have lights around the sukkah for when the sun goes down and it gets dark outside. There are many different fruit and vegetable string lights to choose from.
As beautiful as child made decor is, adults will want to add their own touch to this space. These foodcentric lights are symbolic of the harvest…and they are also fun to look at!
Sukkot Crafts for Kids
Decorating your sukkah with homemade crafts is an activity that your children will treasure and cherish. Besides keeping them productively busy, crafting is learning in disguise. Following directions, which is extremely important, is taught. If you do not follow them, your project will not turn out the right way!
Cutting, drawing, pasting sprinkling…these are all wonderful ways for children to get in their fine motor practice. There are plenty of food stickers that would work well with this holiday.
These are just a few ideas you can use to decorate your sukkah this year.
Featured image from pixabay.com and edited by the author in picmonkey.com