Can you imagine if every single person had the same birthday? There would be a lot to celebrate on that one day! In Judaism, we have a special day to mark the birthday of all fruit trees—Tu BiShvat—which is the 15th of the Jewish month of Shevat. Originally, this date was set to help farmers keep track of the age of trees, since the Torah tells us that we must wait five years before we can eat the fruit of a tree. The first three years are meant to help the tree grow. During the fourth year, the farmers would bring fruit to the Temple as a “thank you.” Today, we use the festival of Tu BiShvat as an opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to the trees, nature and our environment.
To celebrate Tu BiShvat, gather up some recycled materials and create these fun bird feeders to feed our local feathered friends!
- String, twine or scrap of ribbon (for hanging)
- Old box or toilet paper roll (recommended for ages 5 and under)
- Butter knife or spoon
- Peanut butter (or allergy-friendly substitute)
- Cookie cutters (optional)
- Marker or pencil
- Hole punch (optional)
If using a toilet paper roll, skip steps 1-3.
- Disassemble the cardboard box and tear off one of the panels.
- Use a cookie cutter to trace a shape for your bird feeder or just freehand a shape.
- Cut out the shape.
- Use a hole punch or scissors to cut a hole in the top of your shape or toilet paper roll.
- Tie string to hang your bird feeder later.
- Pour out some birdseed onto the plate. You don’t need a lot—just enough to cover the surface of your cardboard. Set aside.
- Now, let’s make this tasty for our bird friends! Using a knife or spoon, spread the outside of your toilet paper roll or one side of your shape with peanut butter. Thickness doesn’t matter. Just pretend you’re making yourself a sandwich! (Bonus recycling tip: Place excess cardboard under your shape while spreading to avoid getting peanut butter everywhere!)
- If using a toilet paper roll: Roll the toilet paper roll in the birdseed until completely covered. If using a shape: Place the shape peanut-butter-face-down and press into birdseed. Flip over and fill in any remaining spots with birdseed.
- Pick a favorite tree, wish it a happy birthday and hang up your bird feeder!
For more crafty Jewish fun, check out what’s happening through Boston-Area Jewish Education Program (BJEP). BJEP’s program is crafted to be a catalyst for growth and development. Learn more. At BJEP, we are committed to providing a quality Jewish education for any child. If cost is prohibitive for your family, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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