Hello dear readers,
More than any other holiday, Sukkot is the one that makes me feel a little nostalgic. That’s because when we start to dig out the Sukkot poles and walls from the basement, I also find the airtight box of sukkah decorations. Inside the box are the sukkah decorations from last year and from twenty years ago, and everything in between; as you might know, sometimes I can have a hard time throwing things away, especially artwork done by my kids! In some ways, it’s a fun little time capsule, though there are gaps for the years where we are not at home, and we go away instead either to relatives or on a kosher Sukkot vacation. I’m no great artist myself, but it’s fun to see the progression of the kids’ artistic abilities (or the regression, I guess, if we’re looking backward in time).
Most of the artwork is easy to store since it’s mostly single sheets of paper that are filled with sketches and scenes, crayons and watercolors, ushpizin, and Sukkot. However, I also have some fun three-dimensional art pieces that are more constructed than drawn. A lot of them are standard sukkah decoration fare, things like paper chains and fake fruit. But there’s only one type of three-dimensional artwork that’s specific to the holiday of Sukkot.
That’s right – it’s lulav artwork!
In the box of sukkah decorations are models of the four species – the lulav (palm fronds), the etrog (citron), the hadas (myrtle), and the arava (willow). Most pieces show the four species together, but some show the individual components. Here are some of my favorites from over the years – feel free to make them at home with your kids, and post photos in the comments of your favorites!
- Papier-Mache Etrog. I remember going to Reuven’s school to help out with this project; he must have been in… fourth grade? Anyhow, it was a huge mess, so I wouldn’t recommend doing this one at home, or at least not without adult supervision. Still, it was fun to help the kids make a papier-mache etrog and see how they put their own individual marks on what is essentially a yellow ball (the bumps pattern on the etrog were key).
- Construction Paper Lulav. I think this one was even earlier, maybe when Rachel was in second grade. We used a paper towel roll as the lulav and chopsticks as the stems for the hadas and arava. The teachers and parent helpers cut out leaves in three different shades of green construction paper, and the kids glued dark green willow leaves onto the arava chopsticks, light green myrtle leaves onto the hadas chopsticks, and regular green palm slices onto the paper towel roll. Then we tied it all together with string, and voila!
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