Sukkot, is a Jewish festival of giving thanks for the Fall harvest, as well as the commemoration of the 40 years our ancestors wandered in the desert (after leaving slavery in Egypt) before they reached the Promise Land of Israel. During their time in the Egypt desert, the slaves built temporary homes out of dry palms and branches called a sukkah.
Every year duirng Sukkot, families will build and decorate their own sukkah with leaves, fruit and vegetables, along with their children’s artwork. It is traditional to eat meals in the sukkah, and some people even sleep in them during the week-long celebration.
-Wooden picture frame
Gather all your materials. If you are doing this craft with children, they love going on a “nature scavenger hunt” to collect their leaves. Just give each of them a small ziplock bag with their name on it to collect their treasures. Tip: When I first took this photo, I had collected some leaves that were a bit too large. I found that smaller leaves worked much better, so keep that in mind when collecting your leaves.
As you can see, I added my family photo to the frame first, but when children are doing this project it is best to add it after everything has dried.
I started this project by building the walls of the Sukkah. Depending on the size of your wooden frame, you will either need 2-3 popsicle sticks for the sides.
This is how it looks with the small popsicle sticks, however the thicker popsicle sticks or tree branches could work as well.
Next add plenty of glue to the top of the frame and begin to add your leaves.
Arrange the leaves according to your liking.
Next, I painted the bottom of the frame.
Once the paint dried, I printed out our family name and glued it to the bottom center of the frame. When doing this craft with young children, it is a nice touch to have them write their own family name.
Decorations are a must in a Sukkah, so I added a little glue onto the popsicle sticks and stuck some gems onto it.
I chose the gems because they reminded me of the colorful paper chains that we make for our Sukkah. Another idea would be to add some fruit stickers or have the children paint their own fruit.
And here is the final product:
While celebrating Sukkot, you might hear people say Chag Sameach (chahg sah-MEY-atch), which means “joyous festival!”