Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by Sarah McCubbin
Using Yom Kippur Activities for kids is a fun way to introduce them to both Jewish culture and truths from the Bible at the same time. Below are some simple ways to celebrate Rosh Hashana. Pick the ones that work for you…and leave the rest!
Yom Kippur is otherwise known as “The Day of Atonement” and is one of the Jewish High Holidays.
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1. Look Up the Dates For Yom Kippur in 2024
Yom Kippur is the second of the Fall Festivals on the Jewish calendar. In 2024, it is celebrated from the evening of Friday October 11-Saturday October 12.
Find out more about Jewish holidays on Chabad.org!
2. Read the Biblical Account of Yom Kippur
Of course when you are doing Yom Kippur Activities with kids, you want them to know what the Bible actually says about it. In Leviticus 16:30 we find:
For on this day shall atonement be made for you to cleanse you. You shall be clean before the LORD from all your sins.
Of course there is more detail if you read Leviticus chapters 15 and 16.
3. Assemble a Yom Kippur Lapbook & Activity Pack!
If you have children that enjoy cutting and pasting, you will want to use the next activity pack. Use simple file folders to create a unique lapbook that your child will enjoy. This mini-lapbook covers the key elements of Yom Kippur as well as many common traditions practiced today. You can keep their hands busy while you talk about the different symbolism in this holiday.
Celebrate other Jewish Holidays with Your Kids Too!
Note: One of the side benefits of celebrating holidays with kids is the chance to use them to teach social skills! If you are celebrating Rosh Hashanah for kids and with kids, you will definitely want to check this out!
4. Read Yom Kippur Books for Kids With Your Family!
Here are a few fun ones. I love the book, The Feasts of the Lord listed below. It is a wealth of information about all of the Biblical holidays! While not an actual children’s book, it has pictures and details about the history and traditions of each of the holidays making it easy to learn in bite size pieces.
5. Play the Jewish Feasts Memory Game With Your Kids!
If your family is not Jewish, you may struggle to keep up and remember which Feasts happen when. This game is a great way to match up the Jewish and English names for these holidays and put the 7 Feasts of Israel in numeric order! Plus it’s FREE!
6. Listen to a Ram’s Horn Being Blown!
One easy of the easy Yom Kippur activities is is to listen to a ram’s horn being blown. It is blown at the end of Yom Kippur to signal the end of fasting.
The Bible does not specify which kind of horn should be used during Rosh Hashanah but Rabbinic tradition always uses a ram’s horn. It is a symbol of God’s deliverance remembered from the time God provided a ram in the thicket to deliver Isaac from being sacrificed by Abraham.
7. Celebrate With Hebrew Worship Songs
The beauty of the Jewish Feasts is that they all point to Jesus. They point to Him as our deliverer…our living hope. They point to our need to repent and Jesus’s sacrifice that would bring us life. As a follower of Jesus, one way we can celebrate is through song. I love music that combines English and Hebrew lyrics and points to the character and nature of the Lord.
Here Is My Favorites Playlist!
8. Celebrate Yom Kippur With Fasting
While food is very much a part of Jewish holidays. Yom Kippur is marked by a distinct lack of food. In fact, those who are observing Yom Kippur will not eat or drink for 25 hours.
To prepare for fasting, many families enjoy a large meal together before Yom Kippur begins and then Break the Fast together with another meal the morning after Yom Kippur.
9. Yom Kippur Activities Include Lots of FOOD!
The food served at the Yom Kippur Feast and most of other Jewish holidays are full of rich symbolism. They are usually physical pictures of spiritual truths (or desires).
Here are traditional symbolic foods eaten at big meals BEFORE and AFTER Yom Kippur! During Yom Kippur, observant Jews will fast from all food and water.
- Apples and Honey
- New Fruit
- Honey Cake
- Couscous with seven vegetables
- Leeks, chard or spinach
10. Watch Videos About Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur is a Jewish Holiday. However, many Christians celebrate Yom Kippur as well recognizing it as a celebration of Jesus who would be the final sacrifice that atones for our sin.
That means there will be more than one perspective on Yom Kippur out there.
Here is a wonderful video about Yom Kippur for children from the Jewish perspective.
11. Learn About Rosh Hashanah Too….
What? You said 10 Tips to learn about Yom Kippur! Well…here is the thing. Rosh Hashanah, the “Feast of Trumpets” is celebrated for 2 days at the beginning of the week and then a week later Yom Kippur, “The Day of Atonement” is celebrated. They are 2 separate festivals but they are intertwined because of what they mean.
Rosh Hashanah is the Festival of Trumpets and the Jewish New Year. It is a celebration of new beginnings. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish Year. It is time to repent and ask for forgiveness from God and from other people. The week begins with a celebration of the New Year with Rosh Hashanah and ends with repentence and a renewed focus on God. I love the combination of celebration and dependence is wrapped into one week.
Sarah McCubbin, founder of Ten Minute Momentum, is dedicated to helping parents confidently parent their kids by teaching life skills, social skills and leadership skills. As a child she was the kid that never quite fit in and is on a mission to help others understand the building blocks we all need to be successful adults. She lives in Ohio with her husband Mike, and 9 kids ranging in age from 5 to 21 where they use homeschool, private school and public schools for their kids education!