Make Sukkot more meaningful for the whole family and teach Jewish values and traditions to your little ones with these fun holiday activities for kids of all ages!
Since one of the most key rituals of Sukkot is building and then spending time and eating in a sukkah, decorating the family sukkah is one of the most classic Jewish children's holiday activities!
Jewish tradition values both beautifying our commandments and passing on our traditions to the next generation, and prettifying the sukkah is a great way for everyone in your family to feel connected to the holiday. And what's more, your makeshift holiday hut will be that much more special if it has a personal touch made by the littlest ones you love.
Some sukkah craft decoration ideas to get your kids started:
Whatever your kids choose to make, don't forget to help them put it up around the walls of the sukkah where everyone can see and admire their unique work.
If you don't have the space for a real-life sukkah in your yard or balcony, or if your kid is the craftsy type and would enjoy having a mini sukkah-like hut for their stuffed animals - why not encourage them to make their own! Constructing a miniature sukkah will help them learn about and connect to the tradition, while expressing their creativity.
Your kids can craft their own mini sukkah out of items like popsicle sticks or chopsticks together with paper or fabric, or build a pre-made kit like this beautiful laser-cut set from Israel.
If your family is the observant type then you probably have a lulav and etrog set for fulfilling the traditional commandment of shaking the arba minim (four species) during the holiday of Sukkot. One of the purposes of the arba minim is to connect with the nature of the Land of Israel, and shaking the classic lulav and etrog can be a fun experience for children in and of itself.
But a great way to add even more of a personal touch and stimulate your children's creativity is to ask them to come up with and gather their very own version of the four species, using any items they personally find meaningful.
You can help them with a prompt, such as:
The possibilities for fun and creativity are endless!
One classic Sukkot tradition is symbolically inviting beloved figures from the Bible or Jewish history to our sukkahs as ushpizim and ushpizot, or guests.
Encourage your kids to choose their own historical and Biblical figures whom they'd like to invite to the sukkah and have a meal with, and to explain why. You may even find it turning into an impassioned family debate as to the best potential dinner guests from history!
Your children can also turn it into a craft by drawing portraits of the men and women they'd like to invite, or even dressing up as them.
Take a page from a classic Israeli tradition: family trips and outings during chol hamoed, the intermediary days of Sukkot. Many Israelis as well as observant Jews in the diaspora don't have work or school during the entire week-long holiday, making it a great opportunity for out-of-town trips with the whole family. Some take the opportunity to visit relatives, while others tour an exciting new city or country, or go on day trips to amusement parks, hiking trails, or beaches.
If your schedule doesn't allow a full-day or multi-day trip, you can still make the holiday special for your kids by carving out some time for a fun family activity - and help your kids form treasured memories and positive associations with Sukkot and Jewish tradition for the rest of their lives!
Even a family movie night, trip to a local children's museum, or dedicated outing to your kids' favorite store or restaurant will help make the holiday special and enjoyable.
Have fun, and Happy Sukkot from Israel!
Help your young loved ones connect with their heritage with our selection of beautiful and meaningful Jewish gifts for kids from the Land of Israel!
Need help picking out the perfect gift for your child or grandchild? We've got the Top 10 Israeli-made gifts for kids here, as well as the best kid-appropriate Jewish jewelry.