“Three times a year shall you keep a feast unto me. The feast of the unleavened bread – for in it you came out of Egypt – and the feast of harvest, the first fruits of your labor, which you saw in the field; and the feast of ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your labors from the field.” –Exodus 23:14-15
Sukkot is a great holiday for children. They can easily help with the preparations by making decorations for the sukkah. They can enjoy doing the mitzvot of shaking the lulav and etrog and eating in the sukkah. The CJL Creativity Center has an abundance of activities related to Sukkot, including directions for making an array of decorations for the sukkah, games to play, blessings to be said and stories to tell, books to read and songs to sing. We have something for all ages.
Glue-drawn Fruit– illustrated directions for making the placemat and illustration. This activity is geared for second – sixth grade children.
Magnetic Sukkah – contains sukkah background picture and manipulative pieces to be put on the picture. This activity is geared for preschool – first grade children.
Paper Fruit Decorations – illustrated directions for making “fruit” to hang in the sukkah. This activity is geared for second – sixth grade children.
Paper Lanterns– illustrated directions for making paper lanterns to hang in the sukkah. This activity is geared for second – sixth grade children.
Paper Lulav–directions for making a paper lulav. This activity is geared for second – fourth grade children.
Simchat Torah Flag – flag pattern to be decorated and used on Simchat Torah. This activity is geared for preschool – first grade children.
Sukkah Decoration Ideas – contains suggestions for many different types of sukkah decorations. This activity is suitable for all ages.
Sukkot: Ten Minute Field Trip– This activity is geared for intermediate grades.
Sukkot/Simchat Torah Issue of the Professional Jewish Educator (PJE), CJL’s newsletter for educators, including:
- Teaching Sukkot: Concepts Across Grade Levels
- Sukkot and Thanksgiving
- Symbolism of the Lulav & Etrog
- First Fruits of the Seven Species
- Shalosh Regalim Venn Diagram
- Shalosh Regalim Statement Page
- Sukkah Decorating
- Videos for Sukkot and Simchat Torah
- Children’s Books and Parent/Teacher Resources for Sukkot and Simchat Torah
Symbolism of the Lulav & Etrog
One well-known interpretation sees the four species as symbolic of four types of Jews.
Just as the etrog can be both tasted and smelled, among the Jewish people there are individuals who both learn much Torah and do good deeds.
Just as the myrtle branch can be smelled but has no taste, among the Jewish people there are individuals who do good deeds but learn no Torah.
Just as the palm branch has a taste but no smell, among the Jewish people there are individuals who learn much Torah but who do no good deeds.
Just as the willow has no taste and cannot be smelled, among the Jewish people there are individuals who learn no Torah and who do no good deeds. G-d declares that to destroy the last group is impossible, so instead let them all be tied together and they will atone for each other. Download a copy of the different symbolisms for the lulav and etrog.