Shabbat is the perfect time to gather with loved ones. From Shabbat dinner on Friday night to Havdalah on Saturday night, there are plenty of opportunities to unplug and focus on family.
Enjoy Your Meals Together
Having the time to eat in a leisurely way is a real treat. With no time limits you can take all the time you need to chat, catch up and share stories. When preparing meals in advance, try and choose ones that can be interactive so the kids can get fully involved (like vegetable sticks and dips, or wraps with various fillings). If it’s a messy type of meal, try to stay relaxed about it so that everyone can really enjoy themselves.
Allow the Children to Help
Kids love to take on tasks they see as grown up, so let them help you. They’ll do a great job setting the table or making place cards. Or they may want to gather flowers from outside to put in a vase or create a table centerpiece.
Get out for a Relaxing Walk
Getting some fresh air is a lovely way to relax and children love to explore new places. It doesn’t have to be anywhere elaborate – just somewhere local. They could gather sticks and leaves to make a collage with later.
Children love to sing and as adults, it’s often something we tend to do less and less. Take turns picking songs you all know and spend some time singing together.
Take turns telling some stories you know, or reading some of your children’s favorite books. You could act these out using toys or give each other different parts to play.
Take time to sit and play with your children over Shabbat, playing games they love, but that you might not have time for during the week. Let them take turns to choose each game. You could even keep certain games as a special treat, just for Shabbat.
You could all choose special outfits that you only wear on Shabbat. This can be really exciting for children and another way that they’ll see Shabbat as a real treat and something to look forward to all week.
See Friends or Family
Shabbat is a great time to practice the Jewish value of hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests). Plan to have special friends or family over for a few hours, or head out to visit other people, especially if you know anyone who might feel lonely. Children love company and can help to bring joy to others who are on their own.
Making Shabbat a special time for you and your family is a rewarding end to the week, and planning ahead can ensure you’ll all get the most out of it.
September 12, 2019