Tashlich, the casting of ones sins into the water, is not easy to explain to children. Truthfully, I don't know how many adults really grasp the ceremony and its meaning. But I do have a fun way to teach it and make it relevant.
We have been discussing Teshuva for some time, but not specific things for which we were sorry and want to fix.
At the table we discussed specific actions we want to change. Then I gave each student a coffee filter (we looked at how it was round, as that is a big Rosh Hashana theme) and the washable markers. I encouraged everyone to draw a picture of something they were sorry for and wanted to stop doing. This was easier for some students than others.
I started by explaining that my picture was of me yelling at my daughter and how I will try not to get upset next time she loses her glasses.
Elazar explained that he was going to stop chasing the girls.
Elchanan said he was going to share better with Moshe.
Ava and Jacob both spoke about their younger siblings.
Naftali said he wouldn't hit his parents any more.
Moshe insisted there was nothing for which he was sorry.
And Audrey and Naomi said something about Elsa. (sigh)
Jacob spilled some water on his picture and started to get upset, but then I showed everyone the next step of tashlich.
We took our averot picture coffee filters to a water filled tactile table outside (that is practically Lake Washington, right?)
We placed out pictures in and swooshed the water around.
Magically the pictures disappeared!!!
Our averot were gone!
Teshuva and Tashlich in action! (Are bread crumbs any better than coffee filters?)