Family Activity for Bedtime: Prayer Tents

As parents begin to establish Jewishly inspired bedtime routines, saying the Shema and Modeh Ani, here’s a simple visual reminder to place next to a child’s bed.


  • 1, 6” x 2” piece of heavy weight paper/cardstock
  • 1, ½” x 2” piece of heavy weight paper/cardstock
  • 1, 2” x 3” piece of heavy weight paper/cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • 1” piece of ribbon, string, or strip of paper
  • Optional – have a few mini star stickers or glitter to sprinkle on the nighttime side representing stars.

Note: The color of paper is up to you! I like to use yellow on the daylight side, blue on the night-time side. This project is a great way to upcycle paintings, coloring sheets, scraps of construction paper or greeting cards. The choices are unlimited!

Step #1:

  • Fold the 6” x 2” piece of paper in half. Glue ½” x 2” piece on bottom holding the “tented paper” together. You can also just fold a larger piece into three equal parts forming a triangular shaped tube/tent.
  • Glue the bottom together so the tube/tent can rest on one side.

Step #2:

  • Write the Shema on one side of the 2” x 3” card:

    שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵֽינוּ, יְיָ אֶחָד.

    Sh'ma Yisrael, Adonai eloheinu, Adonai echad.

    Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One.
  • Write the Modeh Ani on the reverse of the 2” x 3” card:

    מוֹדֶה\מוֹדָה אֲנִי לְפָנֶֽיךָ, מֶֽלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַֽרְתָּ בִּי נִשְׁמָתִי בְּחֶמְלָה, רַבָּה אֱמוּנָתֶֽךָ.

    Modeh/Modah ani l'fanecha, melech chai v'kayam, shehechezarta bi nishmati b'chemlah, rabbah emunatecha

    I offer thanks to You, ever-living Sovereign, that You have restored my soul to me in mercy: How great is your trust.
  • Create a loop out of your ribbon, string, or strip of paper. Attach this loop to the end of the card.
  • Place card inside cardboard tent.

Step #3:

Place tent near your child’s bedside as a reminder.

Add additional values, blessings, prayers and sentiments on additional cards to fill your mini-bedside tent.

Jacqueline Serebrani-Kesner is an interdisciplinary and expressive arts educator. More about Creative Arts Enrichment can be found at Jacquie can be reached at Jacquie’s activities are part of a soon to be published compilation of ideas to inspire your spiritual journey.

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