My favorite part of Rosh Hashanah are the apples and honey. We get really into it at my house. We start with a huge (huge!) platter of apples. We try two different kinds of local honey for a taste test. And then it's it's time for the moment--the first apple dipped into honey for the year. But before we eat them, we want to say the blessing--because eating apples and honey without the blessing on Rosh Hashanah just doesn’t feel right. Blessings are what help transform an everyday snack into a mindful and memorable moment.

Somehow we can never find those blessings, though. They're never in the books where we'd expect them. So finally, I came up with a solution: a kid-made Rosh Hashanah placemat with the blessings right there on it. And now you'll always be able to find the apples and honey blessings!

The quick way is to glue the blessings to paper and then apple-print around them. The slower way is to apple-print first and then glue the blessings over the design. The latter version works well for kids who will otherwise obliterate the words with layers of paint.
 

You'll need:

Construction paper (the bigger the better)
Blessings printable (click here)
Scissors (plain or fancy)
Glue stick
Apples
Paring knife (adults only)
Cutting board
Small, flat plates with rim (one per paint color)
Paint (washable acrylic or tempera)
Metal fork (optional: to make a handle for the apple). A chubby toddler fork is ideal.
Black marker and apple-color markers (optional)
Contact paper (optional)
Paper towels (because paint is messy)

1.  Print the blessing sheet HERE. Trim with scissors.

2.  Glue it to the colored paper. Keep room for apple prints around the blessings. (Or, you can make the apple prints first and glue the blessing sheet over them, in which case you should follow steps 3-7 and then come back here to step 2.)

3.  Cut the apples in half from top to bottom and in quarters. Cut half horizontally around the equator and ask what your child sees in the middle.(The inside reveals a star. Penninah Schram, doyenne of Jewish storytellers, has a lovely tale about this, The Apple Tree’s Discovery.) Try to make flat, smooth pieces that will stamp evenly.

4.  Poke a fork into each apple piece if you need a handle. This never works for me, but some folks swear by it.

5.  Squirt paint onto plate.
 
6.  Dip apple piece into paint. Use a paintbrush or finger to apply the paint evenly, if you must.

7.  Stamp the paper with the apple cut-side down. Make as many apple prints as you wish.

8.  Let dry. Place at the dinner table so you can see the blessings when the time comes. See the traditional order of a festive Rosh Hashanah dinner here . 

Goof ups: leftover paper with apple prints can be cut into individual pictures and glued to cardstock for Rosh Hashanah greeting cards and placecards. Add Shana Tova, Hebrew for “Happy New Year.”

If you're looking for more things to do to celebrate the High Holidays, try out these tashlich traditions, or turn an apple into a bowl for honey, or read up with our list of favorite Rosh Hashanah books.

Joanna Brichetto

Joanna Brichetto holds an MA in Jewish Studies from Vanderbilt University. She is a Jewish educator, mother of two, and blogs at Bible Belt Balabusta.