For such a minor holiday, Tu B’Shevat is full of ways to commemorate the moment – ranging from deep introspection about interpersonal relationships to fun art projects featuring trees to a focus on environmental awareness.
With young children, there are many options of how to bring the “New Year of the Trees,” as Tu B’Shevat is often called, to life.
And, as Jennifer Magalnick, early childhood specialist for the Union for Reform Judaism says, “The experiential aspects of the holiday provide wonderful opportunities for young children to learn about and make Jewish connections to the natural world, the land of Israel and the cycle of the year.”
One idea that URJ offers is to plant parsley seeds in sod pots by a sunny window, then harvest the parsley for your Pesach Seder.
Check out this fun art project, courtesy of creativejewishmom.com http://pinterest.com/pin/118852877635792180/
If you use the levels of creation concept, you might include fruits that:
- Don’t have pits inside them or shells outside. These would include figs, lemons, pears, blueberries, grapes, and even quinces.
- Have pits inside, but with exteriors that can be eaten. Examples in this category would be olives, apricots, plums, persimmons, dates, and cherries.
- Have outside shells that you can’t eat, but with an interior that you do eat, such as walnuts, coconuts, pistachios, pecans, and almonds.
If you do decide to include this wide variety of fruits and nuts in your celebration, a nice idea from www.interfaithfamily.com is to take your kids to the grocery store to have a scavenger hunt to find them. http://www.interfaithfamily.com/holidays/shabbat_and_other_holidays/TuBishvatBooklet.shtml