IT IS CUSTOMARY at Rosh Hashanah to send cards to friends and loved ones, wishing them a sweet new year. Even PJ Library gets in on the action:
For families, the custom provides an opportune moment to practice drawing skills and explore creativity. Consider sitting down with your family to create a few original "sweet" works of art.
According to the Center for Creative Learning, tomorrow’s adult will need to "be able to think creatively and critically, to solve complex and open-ended problems, and to make effective decisions."
In his essay, "How to Teach Drawing to Children," writer and educator Marvin Bartel shares his parenting perspective, especially as it applies to creativity. "Children are often interested in creating persuasive work related to social causes, such as wild life protection, peace and justice, poverty, drug abuse, and so on," he writes. "Some children love to design houses, machines, boats, cars, etc. Many children love to illustrate imagined stories."
Whatever the subject, Bartel points out that children will need positive reinforcement in their creative pursuits.
The blog, Creative Jewish Mom, seemingly agrees. In its blogpost, "’Building Drawing Confidence in Kids’ Bootcamp," the writer explains that confidence plays a major role in a person’s persistence.
So how does a child (or any person) begin acting creatively? The Creative Jewish Mom writes, "the best way to start is to simply start drawing and getting comfortable with the fact that everything we draw doesn’t have to be perfect!"
MAKING SWEET CARDS
Why not take advantage of the Rosh Hashanah card custom by helping your own children nurture their inner artist? Below are a number of creative card-making ideas to get your family’s creative juices flowing.
- Shana Tova Pomegranate Cards
The pomegranate is not only symbolic of Rosh Hashanah, but it’s also colorful and fun to draw and incorporate into cards.
- Bubble Wrap Printing
All you need is some colored paper, some bubble wrap, a bit of white paint and a glue stick!
- Wine Cork Stamp Printing
The apple is one of the traditional symbols for the Jewish New Year, and it’s the perfect shape for making a wine cork stamp.
- Potato Stamp Printing
Pomegranates are eaten at Rosh Hashanah as part of the “new fruit” blessing and because of their layered symbolism and meaning in the Jewish religion. But they don’t make the greatest stamps. For that, try a potato.
- Apple Stamp Printing
Cut an apple in half, paint the cut with yellow and red watercolors using a paintbrush, then print.
WIN AN iPAD
While those creative juices are flowing, take some time to help the children in your family enter creative posters in the 2012 “Make-a-Poster” Contest.
Voices & Visions and PJ Library are co-sponsoring this contest for children ages 7 to 12. Children will create original posters inspired by tikkun olam, repairing the world. The top 12 entries will receive an Apple iPad.
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