This fun, multisensory Rosh Hashanah art project can result in beautiful New Year’s cards! This project helps children associate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah with its traditional snack of apples. Creating Rosh Hashanah cards that can be distributed to friends and family can also help children feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. And everybody loves to receive handmade cards!
Feel free to read on or click here to download this activity guide with step-by-step visual instructions now.
This art project is particularly well suited to children of a wide variety of ages and learning styles. Apples make this art project a messy and tactilely stimulating activity! Additionally, some children do not yet comprehend that a picture of an apple represents a real apple. Therefore, an art project such as coloring in a picture of an apple would not have meaning for them, but an art project using real apples would. Using an apple in this project also makes it meaningful for children with visual impairments for whom coloring activities would also make less sense.
Finally, this project also provides many opportunities for children to make choices. Allow them to choose the color of their construction paper, their paint colors, and how many times they want to stamp their apples. By asking children what they want, we create opportunities for them to communicate with us. Plus, when children have the opportunity to make choices they feel empowered; students love when they can make a project that is truly their own.
A note of caution: Some children may be tempted to mouth or eat their apples, even after they are coated with paint. Be sure to tell your children before the activity starts that these apples are not to be eaten. In case the apples used in this project end up in a child’s mouth, take care to use non-toxic paint and supervise children appropriately.
1. Apples that have been cut in half (use a different apple half for each paint color)
2. Washable, non-toxic paint
3. Paper plate or tray for paint
4. Construction paper
Adaptations for Children with Different Learning Styles:
1. Slant board and tape. A slant board can be a helpful tool for children who have fine motor difficulties. Slant boards encourage a more comfortable wrist position because children need to angle their wrists less than when they work on a flat surface. Additionally, slant boards are particularly helpful for children who wear chest or head straps in wheelchairs because they allow the students to sit up straight while still being able to see their work. If you do not own a slant board, a sturdy 3-ring-binder can be used instead. Any binder that has a 3-inch spine or larger can be an effective slant board. When using a binder as a slant board, use tape to secure the construction paper to the binder so it won’t slide off.
2. Fork and foam tubing. Younger children with small hands or students with fine motor difficulties may have trouble grasping half of an apple. For these children, you can create a ‘handle’ for the apple using a fork and foam tubing. Cover the handle with foam tubing to make it thicker and easier to grasp. Then place the fork securely in the middle of the apple, pushing it in as far as it will go. If you do not have foam tubing, an easy alternative is the foam from large foam hair rollers.
3. Picture instructions. Pages 7-12 of this downloadable kit contain simple instructions accompanied by photographs of a person completing this craft activity. Children with a variety of abilities may need clear directions broken down into small steps in order to successfully complete this art project. Adding pictures to these directions helps children who respond well to visuals, particularly children with autism. The use of pictures is also helpful to children who are not yet able to read the directions.
Some children are able to process the entire list of instructions easily, while others may become overwhelmed by that same list. Therefore, some children may be presented with all five pages of instructions at once, while other children may be more comfortable looking at one page at a time. Certain children may work best when presented with only one direction at a time. In that case, fold or cut each instruction page in half, so that each half-page contains just one direction. If you are unsure about how much your child can take in, start off by presenting them with one page of instructions. Their behavior should help you determine if that is just right, too much, or too little.
Created by Rebecca Redner for Gateways: Access to Jewish Education
Love this activity? There’s more where that came from! Visit Gateways’ online resource bank for an assortment of free, downloadable materials and activities to help all children understand and participate in the upcoming High Holidays.
High Holiday resources include:
- Crafts (all with picture instructions, suggested adaptations for students with special needs)
- Blessings with visual supports (illustrations)
- Build your own social stories
- Make your own file folder activity kits (all with visual instructions, printable materials provided)