Tashlich at Home

Monday, September 13, 2021
Posted by: Rabbi Barry Gelman, Andrea Wolfe

Are you looking for a meaningful rainy day activity with your kids?  This could be a perfect time to explain Tashlich to them! 

What is Tashlich? Traditionally on the first day of Rosh Hashanah, (or, if one cannot get to it then, it can be done until Hoshannah Rabbah - this year Sept. 27th) Jews gather at a body of water to symbolically throw their sins into the depths of the sea by throwing pieces of bread into the water. 

This article offers a good summary of the ritual. 

Here are some resources for an at home Tashlich experience. Doing Tashlich with your family is a great opportunity to create a family ritual that you can repeat and build on from year to year. 

  • DIY Tashlich for families 
  • Our friends at PJ Library  have some wonderful suggestions on explaining Tashlich to your kids, some Tashlich activities, and book suggestions. 
  • Check out this Shaboom episode entitled Really, Really Sorry to talk to your kids about saying “Sorry.” 
  • Make a Shofar using household items. 
  • Coffee Filter Tashlich - Using washable markers, write or draw on a coffee filter all the things you would like to throw away from the past year. Then, float the filters in the sink or bathtub and watch your writing wash away. 
  • We hope you enjoy this cute Tashlich values game for families. You will need to print out a copy of this house and a copy of these words 

Values game instructions. 

  1. Print out the House 
  1. Print out the words and cut each individual word out.  
  1. Use the words to have a family conversation about values and behaviors that you want to keep and those you want to throw away. (Feel free not to use all of the words) 
  1. When you have identified a “keeper” decide which floor on the house you want to put it on. Maybe the top floor are the top priorities... This provides another layer of conversation. Tape the positive words to house and hang the finished product on your fridge or in your child’s bedroom.  

Go back to it from time to time when you want to reinforce positive character traits. 

  1. When you identify a negative behavior or trait, throw it away! Have a garbage can nearby so you can actually throw away the paper.  

Doing the exercise of placing the words in the house and throwing away the “bad” stuff serves as a ritual and solidifies the ideas you have discussed. 

Story is one of the best ways to convey messages to our children.  Check out Rabbi Gelman’s reading of The Hardest Word by Jaqueline Jules and take a look at PJ Library’s Resource Guide  


All the best and Shannah Tova, 

Rabbi Barry Gelman, Director of the Bobbi & Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living and Learning 

Andrea Wolfe, Family Engagement Program Coordinator 

Category: ERJCC Blog