A family makes a simple omer counter with toilet paper rolls and number decorations
Small children love to count - and there's a Jewish holiday that lets kids indulge their newly acquired addition skills. There's a custom to joyfully count aloud each of the 49 days between the celebration of freedom at Passover and Shavuot, the holiday of receiving the Torah. This practice is formally known in Hebrew as sefirat ha’omer, the counting of the omer. (Fun fact: an omer is actually a measurement of barley).
Today, many people look at counting the omer as a way of pausing to notice the blessings in each day (a great mindfulness activity to do with your kids). The holiday of Lag B’Omer falls on the 33rd day of the omer. There are tons of wonderful ways to celebrate Lag B'Omer: telling stories, making s'mores, even enjoying a bonfire! To build anticipation, and put your children's counting skills to good use, try one of these fun, DIY, omer-counter projects.
Related: Counting The Omer With Children
PJ Library's Printable Counter
This simple omer counter can be printed off on one page. Use it as is or laminate the page (self laminating sticky sheets are available at most office supply stores) and mark off each day. Pin the counter to the fridge and move a magnet each day, laminate and use a white board marker, or simply print and check off each day like you would a typical calendar. Download the PJ Library Omer counter.
Build Your Own Lego Omer Counter
The Bible Belt Balabusta is chock full of amazing, educational, fun ideas for Jewish families, and these Lego Omer counters are no exception. Head over to her site to find several different ideas and plans for building your very own counters from Lego and Duplo blocks.
Sticky Note Wall
Got a pad of sticky notes lying around? Have fun building a sticky note display or pattern of 49 squares. You can label them, or not, or double up your squares with an inspiring quote or message about gratitude or perseverance underneath each. For each day that you're counting, simply pull off one sticky note.
Clothes Pins and Twine
Go as basic or as elaborate as you would like with this counter. To start, you'll need a pack of clothespins (available at most dollar stores) and some twine. Simply tack or tape your twine to the wall and add your clothespins. For everyday, pull one off and put it away.
If you'd like to be more elaborate, you can decorate individual pins, number them with permanent markers, or clip photos, notes, or small envelopes to each day as well. Don't forget to make that 33rd clothespin something extra special for Lag B'Omer!
- Why do you think the Jewish people count the days until they would receive the Torah?
- Can you describe a time when you counted the days until something special would happen?
- Each day we count the omer, we should try to think about something for which we are grateful. What can you think of today?
How to Count the Omer via My Jewish Learning
Lag B'Omer History and Activity Ideas
Craft Along and Make a Candy Omer Counter via PJ Library's Facebook Page
March 29, 2021