Yom Kippur Family Activities


Make Your Own Whale

To help make the Book of Jonah come alive, sit your child down and construct your own Jonah’s whale to bring to the synagogue or show off at the final meal before the fast begins.
You will need: 

  • Black or gray construction paper or a grocery bag
  • cotton or small pieces of tissue paper
  • a needle and thread or a staple gun
  • one flat piece of illustration board (found at art supply stories)
  • glue
  • a rag
  • scissors
  • a few pieces of blue tissue paper


  1. Fold paper in half, with the fold on top.
  2. Draw a picture of a whale. 
  3. Cut the upper lines of the whale. 
  4. Sew or staple the two halves of the whale cut-out. 
  5. Gently stuff the whale with cotton.
  6. Glue bottom portion of whale cut-out to the tray. 
  7. Crinkle the pieces of blue tissue paper to look like waves and place all over the bottom of your whale and around the tray.

Making The Mark

Play a game (basketball, trash ball, archery) that uses a target. Set the distance so attaining the goal is difficult. When you finish the game discuss the results. (Most people won’t have perfect scores.) Compare the game to real life. Sometimes we miss the mark. We can’t always do our best, but we try.

Activities reprinted courtesy of www.everythingjewish.com

Helping Others

Make a list of foods you did not eat and estimate the amount of money you saved by not eating on Yom Kippur.

  1. Contribute the amount your family saved to Jewish Family Services’ Kosher Food Pantry, a local organization that feeds the hungry (Kosher Food Pantry c/o Jewish Family Services 5750 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215), or Mazon, a national organization that helps to feed the hungry (Mazon 12401 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 303, Los Angeles, CA 90025).
  2. Fill a bag or two of groceries and bring it to the Jewish Family Services’ Kosher Food Pantry or a local shelter.

Reprinted from the Alef Branch, a publication of the Council for Jewish Education and the Baltimore Jewish Times.

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