10 Educational (and Fun!) Rosh Hashana Gifts for Kids

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by: Rachel Sokol
Looking for gifts to celebrate Rosh Hashana — the Jewish New Year — with your kids? Here's a round-up of some of our favorite educational and symbolic gifts for this meaningful holiday. Rosh Hashana is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, believed in the Jewish religion to be the first man and woman. It is observed for two days beginning on the very first day of the Jewish year (it begins the evening of October 2 and ends the evening of October 4, 2016).

"Another way to think of Rosh Hashana is as 'the birthday of the world,'" says Rabbi Miriam Wajnberg, director of Adult Jewish Learning and Interfaith Engagement at the JCC Manhattan. "Families could bake the world a birthday cake, and say what they'd wish for the world, or take turns saying what they’d like to give the world as a birthday present." Since birthdays tend to involve presents, what better way for kids to learn about, and celebrate, Rosh Hashana than with gifts, right? Take a peek at these cool ideas!

Rosh Hashana cookie kit
All-in-One Sugar Art Cookie Kit
This project is good enough to eat. Literally! This edible cookie says, "Shana Tova," which is Hebrew for—what else?—"Happy New Year," and the other cookie features foods that are important symbols of the holiday: apples and honey. The kit contains two sugar cookies, edible glue, one paintbrush, and six bags of colored sugar (colors may vary). This product is kosher. (Be sure to check out our cool guide to Rosh Hashana foods for families!)

Price: $11.99 at Oh! Nuts

Jerusalem snow globe
Jerusalem Snow Globe
It does snow in parts of Israel sometimes — really! This pretty snow globe features the Jewish Holy City of Jerusalem and makes a fantastic gift for kids of all ages.

Price: $8.99 at JudaicaWebStore.com

toy shofar
Toy Shofar and Noisemaker
These sturdy, 9-inch plastic shofars have no sharp edges and come with an embedded noisemaker. Like the real deal, they blow to various sound tones. Assorted colors available. A ram's horn, a "real" shofar, is blown during synagogue services on Rosh Hashana and at the end of Yom Kippur. "We blow the shofar to announce the New Year, which was especially important before we had cell phones and computers to communicate," says Rabbi Wajnberg. "At the New Year, we're thinking about how to be better people, and the [real] shofar is a really loud, kind of scary noise because it is waking us up, shaking us up, to remind us that we've got hard work to do!"

Price: $1.99 each; also available in bulk at Benny's Educational Toys

Jewish sand art
Sand Art Boards
This gift set contains 12 self-adhesive 5-inch x 7-inch Jewish sand art boards. Just peel off the sections and gently pour sand onto the sticky parts (or use a thin paintbrush, or even your fingers). When your young sand artist is done, their work will feature colorful images of apples and honey, a shofar, and more. Note: Colored sand is not included but you can easily find it at craft shops or online.

Price: $9.95 at Benny's Educational Toys

Jewish holiday playbook
Interactive Jewish Holiday Playbook
This cute touch-and-feel book explores the major Jewish holidays (including Rosh Hashana, of course) and contains soft, removable pieces. The Rosh Hashana page features holiday foods. The book's zipper and handle make it easy to carry and contain the pieces.

Price: $36.00 at The Jewish Musem

pomegranate bookmark
Pomegranate Bookmarks
An older child who cherishes reading will appreciate these beautiful pomegranate bookmarks designed by Jerusalem-based artist Yair Emanuel. "A pomegranate is filled with hundreds of little seeds," says Rabbi Wajnberg. "In Judaism, pomegranates symbolize our hopes for abundance and plenty — that we should always have enough of what we need."

Price: $5.95 per set of three at JudaicaWebStore.com

Jewish coloring calendar
Coloring Calendar with Jewish Designs
This Jewish calendar (September 2016 through December 2017) features US and Canadian legal holidays, phases of the moon, and important Jewish holidays. “The New Year is a time when we can rededicate ourselves to being our best selves,” says Rabbi Wajnberg. “Together, you and your family might make a resolution to give tzedakah, or to volunteer, in the New Year.”

Retail price: $14.99 at Judaica.com

Rosh Hashana mobile
Rosh Hashana Mobile
Kids will love to color or decorate this set of 18 Rosh Hashana–inspired shapes — including apples, honey, and pomegranate — and connect them together to make a pretty hanging mobile. The shapes are approximately 4 inches tall; string not included. Note: It's best to use permanent markers on the thick plastic, so color carefully!

Price: $15.95 at Benny's Educational Toys

Grover Rosh Hashanah book
I'm Sorry, Grover: A Rosh Hashanah Tale
It's hard to resist Grover's blue fuzziness! This Sesame Street–themed book outlines the story and morals of the holiday. It's sure to become a bedtime favorite!

Price: $16.95 hardcover / $6.95 paperback at Kar-Ben Publishing

Hebrew blocks
Hewbrew Wooden Blocks
Here's a great gift for the little builder in your life! These colorful and sturdy wooden alphabet blocks help kids explore the Hebrew language. The set contains 28 blocks (measuring at 1.75 inches or 44 mm).

Price: $43.00 at Uncle Goose