In the Jewish schools that I have taught in and in the ones my kids went to, bible crafts is extremely popular. The only difference is that it’s not called bible crafts. It’s called parsha arts and crafts. Bible crafts or parsha crafts in this case is based on the Five Books of Moses. The teachers teach the portion of the week (the parsha )to their classes and the kids are supposed to make crafts about the portion and share what they learned that week with their parents at home.In many of preschool and kindergarten classrooms I’ve been in, it has become quite common for teachers to do crafts with their students to help them remember what they learned about that “parsha” or portion.
If you are not Jewish and are looking for bible crafts for your Sunday school classes or your children, then you will probably be able to take many of the ideas that I have here.
As a young preschool teacher many years ago, who strongly believed in progressive art, changing the style of these type of crafts was very much part of my agenda. In one of my jobs I was required to make these weekly crafts and as I went through the weekly portion I racked my brain, trying to come up with crafts projects that were developmentally appropriate to do instead of the typical, copycat, arts and crafts.
A couple of years ago I was slated to give a workshop to teachers in a particular school that was heavily into these “parsha arts and crafts” and I was asked to present on that particular topic. In preparation for this workshop, I went back to my notes to find these ideas I had thought of years ago and added different ideas to those I already had.
My modus operandi in dealing with figuring out the right crafts to make for each portion went like e this:
- Get the basic storyline down for the week
- Keep a list of basic, appropriate crafts that can be used. (I talk about the different types of crafts to do in my eBook).
- See if any of the process only art can fit into the portion of the week
- Make an early reading book if nothing else comes up (also discussed in my ebook.)
- Do activities that may digress from art, like cooking and send home an experience chart that the kids write up about their experiences.
What I am going to do in this post is to basically go through the portions of the week with the ideas that I gave these teachers at this workshop. I am going to list all of the ideas I have for each portion. Next to the portion I am going to list what part of the story the crafts are supposed to connect to.
This will not be a detailed list with complete instructions on how to do each activity but, I will try to add some basic instruction. When applicable, I will give you links to where you can find out more about certain activities.
Below is a list of how the portions are broken up. If you are not going according to portion or parsha then just look at the blue writing that describe what the craft is trying to connect to.
The words in red are the names of the portions (parshiot). In blue is the event or object that the craft is connecting to. Below that are from 1-3 different ideas I may have used.
The creation of the world/the garden of Eden
- Round Art- Give children round pieces of tagboard and they create images of earth
- Tree collages-in reference to the tree of knowledge
- Early reading books-What was created each day
The story of Noah’s ark/ The rainbow that Noach saw after the flood
- Crayon resist rainbows
- Black magic rainbows
- Collage rainbows
- Mini murals in mixed media. Paint background, have them draw, cut out and paste the rest onto background
Abraham traveling through the dessert/ being told his nation will be as numerous as the stars
- Sand art with chalk
- Texture paintings with sand
- Sponge painting with stars
Sara’s candles that burned from week to week
- Make your own candles
- Wax resist pictures using candles to draw with
Jewelry: The servant of Abraham brought to Rivka (Rebecca)
- Jewelry of all kinds
Jacob and Esau the twins were born
- Mirror paintings to depict the concept of twins
- Puppets of Jacob and Esau
Jacob ran away from Esau/slept on rocks and had a dream with the angels going up and down the ladder
- Paper mache rocks
- Dream picture collages
Jacob goes back over the river to get his clay pots and then meets Esau after many years and appeases him with gifts
- Homemade wrapping paper for gifts
- Clay pots
- Color wheels for coat of many colors
- Stripe paintings
- Fabric collages with strips
Joseph was the king of Egypt
Jacob came down to see Joseph after 22 years
- Wagon collages- Give kids all sorts of boxes, containers, round things, long thin things and have them make either wagon collages or 3d wagons
Jacob blessed his children before he died
- Frames for special prayers to say at night
Moses in a woven boat in the water
- Weaving projects
Plagues of blood and frogs
- Red collages
- Frog collages
Plagues of darkness
- Black magic
- Black papers with cut out people pasted on
Dancing after being saved from the sea splitting/ feeding the birds
- Drums and other homemade musical instruments
- Bird feeders
The giving of the Torah on Mt Sinai/10 commandments
- Mt Sinai flower collages-You can just do simple flower collages or you can give them different piece of brown or white to make mountains and they can decorate those
- Books on how we would keep the 10 commandments
Learning about keeping meat and dairy separate
- Dairy place mats
The Mishkan which was a temporary temple and all we have left of that is kotel
- Kotel collages
The high priests clothing
- Burlap sewing
The Sabbath (Shabbat)
- Challah covers
Preparing the panels and materials for the Mishkan
- Yarn dyeing
- White material dyeing
- Yarn collages
So that’s what I have for Jewish bible crafts. If you have any other ideas that you think may fit, let me know in the comments below.