Joyful Jewish

Archive for the ‘Home made games’ Category

Afikoman hunt

This is a neat game for kids, combining the fun of a treasure hunt with some Hebrew learning!

The afikoman is the piece of matzah which is traditionally hidden during the course of the Passover seder for children to find later, and it becomes the last thing to be eaten at that seder.

In this game, I printed and laminated copies of each Hebrew letter in the word “afikoman” (which curiously enough is actually derived from a Greek word), and the full word.   I made a set for each team taking part and hid the letters around the yard.

Afikoman

The rule was that only one child per team could run off to search at a time, and they could only bring back one letter.  If it was a letter that team had already found, it needed to be rehidden.  (Eventually the kids realised it was worthwhile checking and remembering which letters had been found before they ran off looking for another one!)

Quick, easy, and with a big enough yard, quite good exercise too.

You can download my copy of the Afikoman hunt cards here. Happy hunting!

 

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Sew your own felt latkes

I needed some latke-shaped beanbags for a latke-tossing game (as you do) and a quick browse of the internet lead me toa fantastic tutorial on how to make a beautiful felt latke (and some other cool things).

Latkes made by Brittany, you can find them on Etsy.

Thus inspired, I made half a dozen of my own.  As you can see, my use of darker brown shades of felt give the more realistic impression that I occasionally forget to flip my latkes quickly enough and they do get a little crispier than is perhaps optimal!

Felt latke

Latkes made by me, you can find them on the floor, or wherever they’ve been flipped to recently.

I more or less followed Brittany’s tutorial, but only put the small felt pieces on one side.  Apart from being a bit of a fiddle, it makes it easier to see if you’ve flipped your latke if one side is plain and the other side is fancy.  I attached the small pieces of felt with iron-on double sided adhesive, then just put a few stitches through for decoration.

Felt latkes in a pan

I made a separate fabric pocket containing some rice, and then sewed the felt pieces together either side of it. Hopefully this means that even if the felt comes apart (which is unlikely) the rice won’t be able to leak out.

Anyway, they make great beanbags for latke flipping, latke tossing, balancing latkes on your father’s head, and general flying latke mayhem.  Plus they sit still long enough to be photographed, which is more than I can say about the ones I cooked for dinner this evening.

Cardboard latkes in pans

I came across this idea here, while looking for some pretend latkes to make.  It’s a cardboard latke attached to a cardboard frying pan.  Finally, mess-free frying!

You will need:
– small cardboard plates
– extra large popsticks (tongue-depressor size)
– sticky tape
– yellow cellophane, or anything else that can represent oil
– glue
– brown and/or cream cardboard
– something to decorate the cardboard to give an impression of latke-ness (I used brown spot stickers cut in half)
– string or wool

To make the frying pan, sticky tape the extra large popstick to the base of a small cardboard plate.
Add “oil” by sticking in a circle of yellow cellophane (or you could draw it in with yellow crayon etc).

Cardboard frypan

Cut out two latke shapes – if you use a combination of colours, it’s easier to see whether or not you flipped it over when you tossed it.  Stick together slightly offset, and decorate.

Cardboard latke

Punch a hole into both the frying pan and the latke, and tie a piece of string or wool to both, so that your latke is much harder to lose.

Practise your latke tossing skills! Flip them up and catch them again.  Flip them over.  Flip them into someone else’s pan. It’s not as easy as it looks when you’re tossing a flat cardboard latke – or maybe I just need a lot more practice!

Flip your latke

This past week, I designed a little Jewish card game/board game for my daughter (aged 4).  In it, you need to match 3 pictures to each of a selection of Jewish holidays.

For example, Shabbat is represented by candles, a kiddush cup and challah; Chanukah has a menorah, dreidel and latkes; Pesach has a seder plate, the plagues and matzah; and Yom Ha’atzmaut has an Israeli flag, a map of Israel and some Israeli dancers.

I found this game to be a fun way to review a lot of the festivals, identify some key symbols and talk about what we do, what we eat and so forth.  Please feel free to use it yourself.  The instructions are included on the pdf.  I suggested putting the pieces into boxes or bags during the game, but I’ve thought of another way to do it (especially for older children) – put all the pieces face down in the middle, and turn over two at a time as you would if playing Memory.  If either matches your card, move them to your card.  If not, turn face down again and let the next person take their turn.

Jewish calendar game for website


Fun crafts and activities for Jewish families with young children

A resource site for anyone who wants to share the joy of being Jewish with the children in their life.

Enjoy!