Tu B'Shvat is coming up quickly (this Thursday) and I was looking for a project to do with the kids, especially since I was pretty sure today was going to be snow day #5. Turns out it wasn't. Dodged a bullet right there, guys. And really, let all of us who have winter break beginning in a few days utter a collective phew, because there will be quite enough vacation days in a row right there, thank you very much.
So with the boys safely in school, the girls and I embarked on our Tu B'Shvat project. It wasn't too ambitious, which was good because I wasn't feeling the craftiness all that much this morning. But before I explain our project, I will take a minute to explain just what Tu B'Shvat is.
Tu B'Shvat, literally, the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat, is the birthday of the trees, or the new year of the trees, celebrating the day when the sap rises inside the tree, thus beginning a new growing season for the trees. The custom is to eat a fruit on this day, making the boreh pri ha'etz blessing on the fruit. For a more comprehensive look at Tu B'Shvat and it's meaning, mystical and otherwise, click here.
For the rest of us who may or may not have been to Shoprite in the past week and so may or may not have any fruit in the house, today we will be doing a fruit-like project. I originally came across this project at Mod Podge Rocks, who posted it from Craftown, both fun-filled websites. And while I followed the tutorial, I changed it up a bit. Instead of making hearts for Valentine's Day, we will making fruit for Tu B'Shvat.
The girls and I sat at the kitchen table - well, one of them sat in the highchair, so I guess we can say we all just sat in the kitchen. I spread wax paper out onto the table, cut up the different colored pieces of tissue paper and handed my two-year-old a paintbrush and a cup of glue. The idea is to spread the mod podge glue onto the wax paper and, one by one, paste the tissue paper pieces onto the wax paper. No special outline or shape is needed, just paste them down.
Once dry, mod podge over the whole thing one more time to seal it all in. Let dry. With a Sharpie marker, draw your fruit shapes over the dry tissue paper. Cut out. Add string and hang in the window and watch the sun shine through the fruits. Or, if you're like us, and you haven't seen the sun in days, just watch the fruit. Then go eat some(thing).
Several things I learned this morning:
1. Cover the table with newspaper first. I did not do this and regretted it. It would have made clean-up of all the thousands of extra tissue paper pieces much easier.
2. Use a damp paper towel to pick up the other thousand pieces of tissue paper that are now statically charged, electrically charged, whatever charged - I don't know, Josh would know - to only stick to your kitchen floor. But haha! Once they're wet, they are super simple to pick up.
3. Paint the green tissue paper last. For some reason, this is the only color that runs when painted over with glue. After we did the green, the whole cup of glue was green.
4. Give your two-year-old, or really, whatever aged kid, only one color of tissue paper at a time. This way they can be creative in where they put the pieces but you still wind up with somewhat solid colored fruit.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)