The Seedy Sukkah
As we complete our reflective, even somber, week of Teshuva (turning), we begin to enter a joyous time for Sukkot. Sukkot is most known for the building of an outdoor portable booth–the sukkah–to simulate the movement of our ancestors through the desert. Yet, this Jewish holiday is the also ultimate agricultural festival: celebrating the fall harvest!
We invite family, friends, and strangers into the sukkah for seasonal, local meals to indulge in the delicious fruits of our labor. If you have ever built your own sukkah, you know that colorful and welcoming decorations are essential! This aspect of sukkot invites children of all ages to stir their creative juices and put their stamp on a long-standing Jewish tradition.
This year, consider highlighting the farming roots of this holiday by using the plant part that brings all our food to life: the seed. Check out the following list of crafts and projects to transform your space into a “Seedy Sukkah!”
Spice up your sukkah this year with some of my favorite seed crafts:
- Seed mosaics with old seeds, rice, beans, and more!
- Upcycle any seed packets left from the garden by making them into banners or chains!
- Use different types of seeds–big or small, round or flat– to create seed stamp masterpieces! Simply dip any seeds in paint or on a colorful stamp pad and let your kiddos go to town on a blank canvas.
- Seedy bird feeders are both aesthetic and practical, welcoming in the animal strangers into the sukkah, too!
Use the sukkah as a space to explore seeds further by harvesting and saving seeds from common fall crops such as pumpkins, butternut squash, acorn squash, corn, and even dried up sunflowers. Once you collect any of these seeds, have your kids brainstorm different uses for them. Here are some ideas to get started:
- Save the seeds to plant for next season
- Roast squash or sunflower seeds for a snack
- Churn roasted sunflower seeds into butter
- Mill dried corn into flour
- Use any of the seeds for the art projects listed above
Since this holiday is all about food, bring seeds into your sukkah-hosted meals! Here are a few recipes to inspire you to nourish your body with seeds as a way to celebrate Sukkot:
Stories to Share
To connect this theme of seeds with the tradition of Sukkot, engage your family with the following storybooks that can foster discussions around the Sukkot table:
- The Vanishing Gourds: A Sukkot Mystery by Susan Axe-Bronk
- The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle book
- A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston
- Bubbe Isabella and the Sukkot Cake by Kelly Terwilliger
- Sadie’s Sukkah Breakfast by Jamie Korngold
- Other PJ Library Sukkot Books
In addition to curating your very own “Seedy Sukkah” with these resources, join us at Ekar Farm to get the full Sukkot experience. What better place to celebrate our fall harvest than a Jewish community farm?! Join us on October 8, 11:30am – 2:00pm, for Ekar’s annual Sukkot Harvest Festival. Pre-register for this family-friendly, experiential event on the farm by clicking this link!
image via the Mother Nature Network
Rodef Tot Shabbat
The Jewish University
The Sunday Experience