By: Elisheva Blumberg, Lubicom Staff
With the sizzling it’s-almost-summer sun, the many hours of daylight, and the (attempted) all-nighters, Shavuot can be a challenging time to keep the kiddos occupied.
Especially this year, with the holiday immediately following Shabbat (AKA, a 3-day Yom Tov), a mother’s job can feel like Mommy/Morah/Day camp counselor all rolled into one.
So we’re sharing these 7 kid-friendly food, craft, and play ideas — guaranteed to keep your little munchkins smiling throughout the long holiday.
1. Get Crafty
The best time to keep little hands occupied with a craft? When you’re hustling in the kitchen on erev Yom Tov.
Step 1. Search “paper flower crafts” on Pinterest
Step 3. Set up your kids in the kitchen for arts-and-crafts time
Step 4. Turn up the music — and turn on the oven! Supervise your kids, while you get busy planning that Perfect 3-Day Yom Tov Menu.
Parents know the best way to get kids to eat real, nourishing food: Give them a choice.
Esty Wolbe’s Something for Everyone Salmon provides a gorgeous palette onto which you can offer your kids a rainbow of choices. With a range of toppings, including spicy (wasabi peas), sweet (honey-glazed almonds), and simple (plain spices), there will be something to please every eater.
Do your kids love mac and cheese? Trick question — of course they do!
For Shavuot, serve an updated twist to this time-honored kid-friendly dish. Norene Gilletz shares her recipe for a “risotto-inspired mac and cheese” that uses orzo instead of macaroni. Delicious and crowd-pleasing; what could be better?
If you’re on the lookout for a kid-friendly dessert, look no further.
Rachel Kor’s Green Goddess Fruit Platter with Cheesecake Dip combines the goodness of fresh fruit, cookies, and cheesecake in one scrumptious place.
Best of all? The cheesecake dip requires no baking; depending on the ages of your kids, they may be able to assemble the entire platter by themselves.
As a light dessert or a late-afternoon snack, these DIY Popsicles by Miriam Pascal and Chanie Nayman will be a welcome refresher for kids and adults alike.
If you don’t have these disposable ice pop bags, you can use any ice pop molds.
6. Game Time
Kids love nothing more than face-to-face time with their parents. The tech-free hours of Shabbos and Yom Tov provide those perfect, uninterrupted opportunities to play with your kids.
Fagie Greenberg of Edmind, an educational consulting firm, shares one of her favorite kid-friendly board games: Rummikub.
The classic number and color grouping game introduces kids to valuable skills such as sorting, counting, and learning to follow directions. “We just finished counting seven groups of seven with sefirat ha’omer,” Fagie says. “Parents can use the tiles to explain math concepts and multiplication to their children.”
Whatever game you play, your kids will relish the opportunity to spend focused time with you (even when it involves math!)
7. Learning for Every Level
Impart of a love of learning — and better language skills — by learning with your children.
Fagie, who specializes in literacy, recommends starting with Pirkei Avot. “The ideas found in each mishnah can be a springboard for deep conversations between a parent and child, which is an essential method for fostering future academic success.”
Fagie recommends taking turns reading each mishnah aloud with your kids. “Inevitably,” she says, “a line will come up that will lend itself to further discussion and sharing of ideas between parent and child.”
Just show up, be present, and you’ll be amazed at your how mature and perceptive your kids will be.