Hoshana Rabbah: Harvest Painting Activity
Hoshana Rabbah is the seventh day of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, and the 21st day of the month of Tishrei. The celebration of Hoshana Rabbah gives thanks to God for a bountiful harvest. The seventh day of Sukkot is an annual reminder to those of Jewish faith, that God is the one who determines the events and prosperity of the new year.
A fun way for children to acknowledge this date is to explore foods of the harvest season. Traditional harvest foods such as corn, wheat and root vegetables can be used to give children a multi-sensory experience.
This activity can be done by children of all ages, deepening their understanding of the world and discovering other cultures. It has the multiple benefits of being easy to create and linking to many areas of the EYFS Development Matters. Just a few items are needed to make this activity which can also be altered depending on what resources might be available.
Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:
What you will need:
· A selection of paints
· A variety of harvest foods-such as corn, wheat, seasonal vegetables and fruits (firm items work best, such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, apples, etc)
Preparing the activity:
1. Prepare the food by cutting up larger items (like potatoes) into manageable sizes for the children to handle.
2. Mix up a selection of paints-autumnal colours tie in well with the theme (red, yellow, orange, brown).
3. Ensure children are appropriately dressed for painting.
4. Provide them with paper, the paint and the food.
Doing the activity:
Invite the children to take part in this seasonal painting activity. Presentation of the resources should be considered to make it appealing to the children. Demonstrate how the children can use the foods to paint. This can be done by dipping food in a tray of paint and printing on to their paper, or alternatively they could paint on the food with a brush before mark making on the paper.
During their interaction, provide a meaningful narrative for the children. Help to describe the patterns the different items make, explain the names of less familiar foods, and encourage them to come up with words to define the textures of what they are using. Perhaps the turnips feel “rough”, courgettes might be “slimy”, and sweetcorn may feel “bumpy”.
Encourage the children to smell some appropriate items, introducing new vocabulary for them to learn such as “earthy” or “musty”. This is a good opportunity to talk with children about how fruits and vegetables grow, explaining how some grow under ground and some grow over ground, also stating what they need to grow-water, sunshine, soil.
Discuss with the children how important farmers are. Inform them, in age-appropriate ways, what farmers do on a day-to-day basis and how the crops they grow end up in the shops for us to buy. This will deepen their understanding of the world and help them understand where food comes from.
Include discussions about the seasons, noting other aspects that change such as temperature, weather and annual events like Halloween or Christmas. Encourage younger children to repeat single words or join words together to create simple sentences.
Allow each child to have their turn, supporting turn-taking and sharing.
Tracking the activity: