Tu B’Shevat HaKaras HaTov Tree: Giving Thanks to Hashem for Nature

(For ages 3-6)

The children will give thanks to Hashem for the beautiful, interesting and useful things in nature and make a “Thankful Tree.” They will also sample the fruits of the seven species of Israel and other traditional Tu B’Shevat fruits.

Tu B’Shevat and Nature Discussion
Instructors tell the children that the holiday of Tu B’Shevat is coming.. Explain that Tu B’Shevat is the “New Year of the Trees” so it is a good time to talk about nature and the things in nature that we appreciate that Hashem gives us.

Show pictures of nature (seee Nature Images and/or cut out pictures from a nature magazine like National Geographic) or take a “Nature Walk” outdoors and ask the children what things they like and find beautiful in nature. Encourage children to see colors, shapes and use their five senses when appreciating nature. Give a few examples for children to follow (i.e. I like the smell of the brown falling leaves. Baruch Hashem for the circle acorns so squirrels have food to eat. Thank you G-d for the beautiful white and gray clouds that give us rain.) Write down the children’s ideas (with names) on a chalk board, white board or chart paper to refer back to later. Children can practice reading the ideas after they are written.

Tree Creation
Depending on the age and ability of the children, either trace or have them trace their own (or a friend’s) hand onto multi-colored construction paper. Cut out the hand and write (or children copy) their thankful ideas onto the hand. Use one idea per hand.

Draw or paint a tree trunk with branches onto mural paper or poster board. Attach “leaves” to the tree. You will need a lot of leaves for your tree so make sure each child gives several HaKaras HaTov ideas.

Another option is to have children collect leaves on their “Nature Walk” to use in making crayon leaf rubbings (see instructions from Earth911.com). Children (or adults) cut out their rubbings in the shape of the actual leaves and then write their ideas on these “leaves.” Make sure to use light crayon colors for the rubbings so the written ideas can be seen. If the weather does not permit a group “Nature Walk,” instructors can bring leaves into the classroom to use in the rubbings and children select the ones they like.

Tu B’Shevat Fruit Sampling
Discuss the seven species of Israel and traditional Tu B’Shvat fruits and have children sample the fruits. Children say brachot on the fruits and say a Shehechiyanu on any new fruits. (Explain when saying Shehechiyanu is appropriate.) It is customary on Tu B’Shvat to eat a new fruit so try to provide a few exotic fruits for the children to sample. Click here for the actual bracha in Hebrew, English and transliterated Hebrew. You may want to print out this bracha so the children can read it when they say it.

Thanks to Stephanie Frumkin for preparing this program for Canfei Nesharim.

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This content originated at Canfei Nesharim.org/.

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