Rosh Hashanah is the time of year to plant the seeds of tradition – even in your youngest children.
And this year, with Rosh Hashanah coming at the end of September, we truly are celebrating autumn. Changing leaves. Changing wildflowers. Changing winds. As it often does, the Jewish calendar is enhancing our appreciation of this shift from one season to the next.
Encouraging your young explorers
A simple way to celebrate the movement toward Rosh Hashanah is to go for a stroll in a nearby park, looking for little signs of fall.
Here is a lovely recollection of one Mom’s experience doing just that with her little boy:
“This week my toddler and I discovered (and rediscovered) the joy of crunching through leaves as we walked down a tree-lined path. He found such delight in scraping his feet along and making a new and unique sound. As he realized that I was also enjoying this first fall music of our feet, his smile grew even bigger.
It was the first of many autumn experiences that he will learn to recognize as the season changes and the cycle of the year continues. Similarly, this year will begin his discovery of Rosh Hashanah as part of the fall. He will taste apples and honey for the first time and hear the shofar. Last year he was an infant when we planted the seeds of tradition and rhythm. This year his awareness will allow the seeds to sprout and become rooted in his brain and his heart.”
Visiting a farm market
Another wonderful Rosh Hashanah tradition is to make a special trip to a nearby farmer’s market.
- Invite the kids to choose apples for your Rosh Hashanah table, both for dipping apples into honey and as decoration.
- Bring home another sweet treat.In our neck of the woods, you can find apple cider doughnuts this time of year. They’re round and sweet and special – making them the perfect treat to say “Shana Tovah!” I’ve also seen those skinny honey sticks in one of our larger farm markets.
- Look for a new fruit of the year to eat on the second night of Rosh Hashanah. We’ll talk more about this in our post on 9/18. While this can be more fun at a farmers market, a search in a grocery store works well, too.
Looking for a family-friendly game for the high holidays that all generations will enjoy playing together, check out our Rosh Hashanah Bingo.
Perfect for kids 2 and up, it’s now available as an immediate download.
Also great for pre-readers, this game teaches the symbols of Rosh Hashanah.
What other Jewish New Year traditions does your family have?
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Shana Tova to you and yours!