Sukkot has always been my favorite holiday. We get to move around and be outside, and most of the prescribed activities involve dancing and eating. But what if you don’t have a sukkah or aren’t the outdoorsy type? Here are a few crafts you can do with supplies you already have at home.
1. Build an indoor sukkah.
Do you get lots of deliveries from Amazon and wonder what to do with all the boxes? Sukkot is a great recycling holiday! Use the boxes to create mini sukkot, decorating the roof and inside with markers, construction paper, or whatever art supplies you have. If you have a really big box, you can make a sukkah big enough for your kids to crawl inside so they can “experience” living in a hut.
2. Create a kindness chain.
This one is inspired by the Riley’s Way Foundation, named in memory of a girl who passed away. Riley Sandler was an incredibly kind and welcoming person, and the mission of her family’s foundation is to spread more kindness in the world. They created the kindness chain: On one side of a strip of paper, write a kind thing you did for someone; on the other side, write a kind thing someone did for you. Then, find someone else and link your piece of paper to theirs, creating a paper chain of kindness that you can use to decorate your sukkah or your home.
3. Learn from the ushpizin.
It is a Sukkot custom to symbolically welcome characters from the Bible into your Sukkah. You can, however, expand this tradition to include anyone, living or dead, who you would like to welcome. Together with your child, choose a few people you would invite into your sukkah, then create a poster about them, using photos or your own drawings and writings. Tell us who they are, what they like to do, and why you are would invite them into your sukkah. If you laminate the page, it will survive the outdoors of your Sukkah.
4. Create art that celebrates fall.
With your children, collect leaves and create leaf rubbings by peeling the paper off crayons and creating imprints of the leaves on construction paper. You can also create collages with natural materials you find in your backyard or neighborhood, to celebrate the fall and the harvest.
5. Cook together.
Sukkot is a harvest holiday, so anything involving fruits, vegetables, or grains is the perfect Sukkot food. Some people even make jam (or liquor!) with the etrog once the holiday is over. Make your cooking even better by cooking some extra and delivering it to your neighbor, local homeless shelter, or fire or police station, to share the bounty of the harvest with others.
For more ideas for family activities, check out 4 Ways to Spread Kindness this Sukkot. How will your family celebrate Sukkot this year? Leave a comment and let us know!
Rabbi Rebecca Rosenthal is the director of youth and family education at Central Synagogue in New York City.