Green Chagim (excerpts)

“The Holy One took the first human and passing before all the trees in Gan Aiden said, “See My works, how fine and excellent they are!? All that I created, I created for you. Consider that, and do not destroy (tashchit) My world; or desolate it for if you do, there will be no one after you to set it right.”” Kohelet Rabbah (Ecclesiastes Rabbah) 7:13

We began writing Green Chagim as a way to incorporate the mitzvah of Bal Tashchit (Do not destroy*) into our curriculum. Bal Tashchit has come to mean not being wasteful, and is often utilized in classrooms only during Tu B’Shevat. This is a concept we are looking to correct! Teaching about Bal Tashchit should happen everyday! Beginning with our youngest learners, we must teach our children to recycle as much as possible, as often as possible! What better way is there to recycle then through art?! We hope you will utilize this book to help teach our children the importance of caring for our Earth. We are all Shomrei Ha Adamah (guardians of the Earth) and must encourage this concept with our children.

We’d also like to suggest a great song written by Lenny Solomon called: The “Green” Song on the CD: Shlock Rock® for Kids – Party Time.

Right click on this link and select "save link as" to download song

Rosh Hashanah – A Sweet New Year!

  • Use recycled yogurt cups to make honey pots. Decorate them using tissue paper, or fabric and Modge Podge.
  • You can also make a bumble bee out of a toilet paper roll. Paint the roll yellow and add black stripes, add a head using a ball of yellow tissue paper and decorate the face with googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae. Recycled bubble wrap makes nice wings too!
  • Use the Rosh Hashanah cards you receive and make lacing cards for the children. Just use a hole punch and an old shoe lace to lace with.
  • Recycle Styrofoam fruit or veggie trays (not meat!) to make pomegranate or apple (or other holiday symbol) “stampers” (attach an old spool with a hot glue gun as a handle for the stamp).
  • Take a recycled Styrofoam tray (sand it lightly first) and have the children draw (using a pencil to push into the tray) a Rosh Hashanah design onto the back of the tray. Paint over the design lightly and make prints on paper to use as a card to send to Bubbe and Zaide.
  • Another way to make a greeting card is to glue rope or yarn into a design on a can or piece of corrugated cardboard to use as a “stamper” to make prints with paint (glue a spool handle onto the cardboard, the can you would roll onto paper to achieve the design).
  • Make a shofar using a cereal box cut into a shofar shape and attached to a party blower (the noisy kind) from the dollar store.
  • Create round challah covers from an old sheet or t-shirt; decorate using the “stampers” described above, or bleeding tissue paper or washable markers that you spritz with a water bottle to create a tye-dyed effect.

Purim – Megillah, Mishloach Manot and Mishpachah
(The story of Esther, gifts of food and family)

  • Castles and Kings and Queens, oh my! Create a castle using all kinds of boxes, paper towel rolls, oatmeal containers and/or egg cartons that the kid’s have painted. Make some paper cones for the tops on the oatmeal containers and cut the paper towel rolls to resemble turrets. Glue it together using a hot glue gun. Don’t forget a draw bridge and maybe a moat! Then use little people, doll house people or “princesses”, etc... to play with the castle creation.

  • Or if you have a big appliance box, decorate it in the same manner and play inside of it!

  • Using news paper rolled around the child’s head and taped, make a cool hat for a Purim costume. Feel free to embellish with paint, glitter, sequins, feathers, etc…

  • Take any boxes (cereal, cracker etc..) and cut them to make MiShalach Manot baskets (one of the 4 Mitzvot of Purim is to give gifts of food to friends) and decorate them. We chose a triangle shape like Haman’s hat. You can paint them, use “stampers”, sponges, glitter, etc…

  • Another way to make MiShloach Manot baskets is to take plastic fruit boxes (like from tomatoes) and weave string or rope (or strips of fabric from old clothing) and weave in an over under pattern.
  • You can create a grogger that also is the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot by using a non perishable food box (like Macaroni and cheese, rice, beans, couscous, etc…) and covering it with paper and decorating with stickers, etc.. Use the grogger during the Megillah reading, then donate it to a food bank after the holiday!
  • Create groggers using any kind of container with a top (filled with buttons cut off of old, shirts you have used in other projects!), then take a newspaper ball attached with masking tape to be the head. Paper Mache (with a flour and water mixture then dip newspaper) the whole container and allow to dry. After it’s dry, paint, or glue tissue paper on with a glue wash, and embellish with whatever makes your students happy.

  • Using a paper towel or fax paper roll (or the bamboo saved from Sukkot!), attach paper or fabric and have the children draw pictures to tell the story of Esther (a Megillah).
  • Use foam fruit trays to make Purim stencils, “stampers” (See Rosh Hashanah and Shavuot sections), or masks, whatever you can imagine!
  • Make puppets from just about anything, drinkable yogurt containers, milk jugs (the handle is the nose), wooden spoons, anything you find in your house or garage or school! Decorate as desired. (see the picture of the Purim characters above)
  • You can also make a King/Queen’s scepter using a paper towel roll (or those foam Flexee sticks you saved from Simchat Torah!) with a newspaper ball taped to the top or recycled cereal boxes cut into Purim shapes (i.e. crown, hamantash, star, etc…) for the top and then paint or decorate it and sprinkle it with glitter, and curling ribbon. Gorgeous!