As some of my Jewish Hostess readers may know, I am involved in interviewing many elders for The Sephardic Heritage Museum which has really forced me to think about what memories my kids will take with them as they go on with their own lives. Many of the elders that we interviewed, recalled great anticipation for Tu B’ishvat during their childhood in Syria. They all reminisced about how their mothers would sew them a cloth bag with a drawstring, and their parents would collect treasured “exotic” fruits such as pineapples and grapefruits, and Syrian pastries until giving it to them on the day of Tu Bishvat. Kids would savor their treats, and share and trade with friends for weeks afterwards. Can you imagine this year, Tu Bishevat 2012, handing your kid a home-sewn velvet bag filled with kiwi, papaya and almonds????? lol- this year, a baggie with some fruit rollups and apple sour sticks just might do the trick!
Growing up in Brooklyn, in the 70’s, my friends and I still joke about the the inedible rubbery brown carob stick that they used to dole out to students on Tu B’shevat at The Yeshivah of Flatbush. Well, I can just imagine my kids tossing that carob right into the trash can if I tried it on them today!
As my quest for a modern day Tu Bishvat continues, here’s a list of some holiday ideas to try with your kids. Use your imagination and send in your great ideas and traditions to me so that we can all share it on The Jewish Hostess:
1- Watch the video above to appreciate the beautiful flowering country of Israel. When you are done watching, You may just book a one way ticket to Israel!
Tzedakah via internet. Perfect for kids with short attention spans!
3- Grape Juice Sangria-
Let your kids pick out which fruits they like and let them help chop and mix.
- 1 medium bottle of kosher grape juice
- 1 cup pomegranate juice (optional)
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 pear cubed
- 1 apple cubed
- 1 orange pith removed and cubed
- 3 cups carbonated plain or lemon-lime beverage
- 1 cup of red grapes cut in half
Mix all ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate for several hours. Be creative but only use the fruits that you know your kids will like! Serve in your prettiest fruit cups.sticky wood and glue? Make a Fruit Crate and display it on your dinner table with a bunch of grapes, some dates, and a cut up pomegrante. What a centerpiece! Click HERE for easy instructions.
6- Connect with nature right in your kitchen and plant a seed in an egg shell. Or learn how to easily plant apple, orange, grapefruit, tangerine or lemon seeds HERE. Planting a seed teaches kids patience and responsibility in our modern day world of instant rewards.
Try planting seeds in an egg carton as another down to earth craft!
7- Make your own flowering dried fruit sculpture with the kids- they will feel so proud to leave it out all week on your family dining table!
Click HERE to get creative!
8- Have a Shiv’a Minim Tu Bishvat Family Seder .
Click HERE to find out how.
9 – Buy A Tu Bishvat classic for kids- Sammy Spider’s First Tu B’Shevat
– an educational book, and a great children’s gift for all year round!
10- Check out how I came up with this year’s Tu Bishvat centerpiece HERE.
Let’s start some new Tu Bishvat traditions in our homes this year, and maybe one day, in about 2020 or so, our grown kids will be planting a seedling in their kitchen, making grape juice sangria, sending money to plant a tree in Israel, or creating their own Tu Bishvat centerpiece with their own little ones…..
- 4 Gorgeous Fruit-Filled DIY Tu B’ishvat Centerpieces (thejewishhostess.com)
- Tu B’ishvat Coconut Almond Date Truffles (thejewishhostess.com)
- Tu Bi’ Shvat Shiva Minim Wheat Berry Pilaf (thejewishhostess.com)
- My 10 Minute Tu Bishvat Centerpiece- Easy and Beautiful by The Jewish Hostess (thejewishhostess.com)
- 10 Cool Tu Bi’ Shvat Activities for Today’s Kids (thejewishhostess.com)