Last Passover, I had the honor of being invited to share the seder with a lovely family in Melbourne, Australia. There were so many wonderful elements of the seder and one in particular that made my daughter feel very special. The hostess prepared a “present bag” for each child at the seder. This made me think about how giving gifts to children can be used as an educational tool.
I am not suggesting that we turn Jewish holidays into a gift giving frenzy. Rather, we can use special things to teach and connect our children to the specific holiday and make them feel loved at the same time. Here are some ideas for ways to teach our children about Rosh Hashanah through fun and inexpensive presents.
Toys are often played with a few times and then thrown away, but a good book will be read over and over and will be remembered for years to come.
Kids who don’t know much about Rosh Hashanah (yet) will enjoy learning about it from the perspective of the young narrator in On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride is a fun way to introduce the symbols of the holiday. I love that it also incorporates some Israeli geography. Apple Days is a story about Rosh Hashanah but also about family dynamics and unexpected surprises.
Kids often live from holiday to holiday, but they don’t always know when the next one is. Displaying a Jewish holiday calendar in your home is an excellent reminder of when each holiday is coming, and the beautiful graphics capture the essence of each special day.
Holidays often coincide with school vacation days, so I like the idea of activity books for keeping kids busy and involved with the holiday at the same time. Rosh Hashanah Activity Book for Kids is packed with a variety of fun things to do, all holiday-themed. The Family and Adult Coloring Book for Relaxation and Meditation is a nice way to spend quiet down some time during the holiday or in the days leading up to it.
Children love raw honey sticks. Here is a raw, kosher honey stick that is perfect for children to enjoy during the High Holidays.
Your turn: Share a children’s gift idea for Rosh Hashanah with us in the comments below.