Covering Over and Planting New

Kippur comes from a Hebrew root meaning “covering over.” So Yom Kippur is the “day of covering over.” We can picture in our minds covering our bad actions from the previous year and planting seeds in the soil for the new year. But how do we “cover over” bad habits and make better ones?

We can start by looking more closely at some of the habits we want to change. Here are a few simple activities that can help.

Hands On!

Create a Wheel of Choices

Conflicts arise in all relationships, and feeling angry is natural. Some reactions are more helpful than others. Practice dealing with these feelings by creating a Wheel of Choices.

  • Large piece of paper or poster board
  • Markers or crayons
  • Tape

On your large piece of paper or poster board, draw a big circle and divide it into wedges, like a pie (make sure the pieces are large enough to write and draw on).

Think of different things you can do when you’re angry to help you calm down and make good choices. Options might include dancing it out, taking deep breaths, counting down slowly from 10, running to your favorite quiet place in your house or yard, calling a friend…whatever works for you.

Write each of your actions on a piece of the wheel and draw a picture to go along with it. Consult the wheel for help the next time you feel angry!

Role Play with Stuffies

Children can learn about compassion and empathy by acting out scenarios with toys and stuffed animals. Gather stuffed animals and introduce your child to them one by one. Explain what problem each critter has; perhaps Elephant is hungry or Penguin has a hurt wing. Allow your child to create solutions to solve the toys’ problems. Make sure each stuffie remembers to say “thank you!”

Write the Next Page

On a few pieces of paper, write and draw about a situation in which you made a mistake and hurt someone’s feelings. What did you do? How did you make the person feel? Now, take one or two sheets of paper and write a new ending to this story. What could you have done differently? Or what can you do to make things better?