Mark Your Steps into the New Year

Rosh Hashanah is a time for fresh beginnings. Throughout the High Holidays, we practice teshuvah -- reflecting on mistakes of the past year and setting goals to do better in the future.

Related: What Is Teshuvah?

The word teshuvah comes from the Hebrew root lashur, “to return.” Teshuvah helps us turn back to our best self, so we may step forward as our best selves. What fresh start will you make for yourself in the months ahead? Follow these easy instructions so your family can create footprint artwork to represent teshuvah and the steps we take forging a new path in the new year.

After you’ve done this activity, share photos of your steps on Facebook or Instagram with #pjlibrary.

This Activity Works With These Books:


  • Large piece of posterboard
  • Paper plate or foil tray
  • Washable nontoxic paint
  • Markers or pencils


  • Fill the plate or tray with paint.
  • Lay out the poster board on the ground.
  • Dip your bare foot into the paint in the tray, then press it firmly onto the posterboard.
  • Near the footprint, write one goal for the coming year; something to improve on personally, a mitzvah (“commandment” or good deed) to perform more regularly, and so on. If you like, you can dip each foot in a different color and write down two goals!

TIP: When doing this activity with multiple kids, be sure to write their names at the top of their paper beforehand.


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