“Girl color” or “boy color.” Adult role model included.
In which I modify store-bought dreidel kits, and lament the gendering of an otherwise gender-neutral toy. Continue reading
LEGO Seder Plate
The LEGO minifigs are jealous. This time, we’ve made a seder plate sized for the big people. Continue reading
The Four Mitzvot of Purim, via LEGO. Happy Purim!
Reading the Megillah: Mikra Megillah
(Megillah rolled back into case)
Festive Purim Meal: Seudah Purim
Sending Portions: Mishloach Manot
Gifts to the Poor: Matanot l’Evyonim
Notes to purists:
Everything is 100% LEGO except the polymer clay hamantaschen.
The Seudat Purim is kosher dairy.
My Page on making polymer clay hamantaschen for Playmobil and LEGO folk.
My LEGO Purim, last year.
My LEGO Gragger articles, here and a DIY, here.
Link: Page on Purim history and observance at MyJewishLearning.com
Posted in Purim
print it, show it to your kid.
Beloved LEGO nerds and LEGO enablers: print this picture, show it to your kid and let her rummage through the LEGO bins to find the seven, particular pieces. (Rummaging is part of the fun. Match the part to the pic: how many studs across and down? Brick or plate?) She can assemble the seven pieces as per the illustration. She can then add the letters. Voila: a LEGO dreidel.
Should your bins not produce all these parts, just substitute. Four 2×2 bricks are Continue reading
giant Hot Wheels track dreidel arena
If you get crabby when dreidels fall off the table or roll under the sofa, a dreidel arena is key to a happy Hanukkah. An arena corrals the dreidels and (says the Montessori in me) defines the play space. And, if your dreidel play includes battles, an arena is a must: the sides keep dreidels in action longer and coax them back toward each other.
A purposely-marketed dreidel arena is hard to find—with one notable exception below—but you can convert something from junk at home. For example, a laminate-topped breakfast tray with legs is ideal: mine has seen about 18 years of dreidel action at home and at Hanukkah Parent school visits. My all-time favorite is a clean train table: it’s big enough for a crowd and it stands Continue reading
LEGO dreidel kit giveaway
Would you like to win a LEGO dreidel kit? Ideally, you’ve all got enough parts at home to make a whole battalion of unique, custom dreidel models, but in case you don’t, take some of mine. The more LEGO dreidels in the world, the better. Continue reading
DIY LEGO dreidels in progress
I am in search of the perfect LEGO dreidel. In this case, perfection means cheap, easy and fun. The model will need to attract Chanukah carnival go-ers between the ages of four and eleven, each of whom will be offered a chance to make and take said ideal dreidel. Thus, above all, it’s going to have to spin. Really spin.
My search might benefit you, too: you, the grownup with a LEGO lover at home or in the classroom. The act of building a LEGO dreidel is chock full o’ educational benefits. So many elements to consider: you’ve got to have four balanced sides; a low center of gravity; a minimum of friction; a smooth, wide contact point and a design that doesn’t fling itself to bits when it bashes into another dreidel. Figuring all this out with your kid is more than half the fun. Continue reading
Moses and the Lego Tablets
Google “Lego Moses” and you’ll get beaucoup hits. But just because he’s been done, doesn’t mean I can’t have a go. This one is in honor of Shavuot.
My Moses wears a do-rag because it is not cool to meet an omnipotent Divinity atop a mountain with your head uncovered. Nowadays, you can’t walk into a synagogue without putting something modest on your keppe, and the tradition had to start somewhere. Besides, it was sunny in the Wilderness.
What I really wanted was a Lego way to incorporate the famous rays of light Moses radiated after the Big Meeting (Exodus 34:29). Thanks to a glitch in translation from Hebrew to Latin (#Saint Jerome) those rays are depicted as horns in countless artworks, and are, in part, the root of the persistent idea that all Jews have actual horns. Continue reading
Katniss for Lag B’Omer
Happy Lag B’Omer, the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer, those 49 days between Passover and Shavuot. In honor of the day, my family will be as thematic as is convenient: one of us will get a haircut (the one who is satisfied with a quickie trip to the walk-in salon), we’ll burn some brush in the crumbling barbecue pit, roast stale Passover marshmallows and shoot a few arrows. The arrows will be made of foam, after an incident that once put a hole through a solidly-built garden chair and very nearly put a hole through me. Continue reading
Posted in Lag B'Omer
Just for fun: two LEGO seder plates and a table, sized for a minifig Passover.
Now, I’ve got to get busy making the real thing….
Have a happy Passover!
See below for the bits we used. If you make your own, please post pics to my Facebook page. Continue reading
Posted in Passover
Tagged Lego, seder
LEGO Israelite minifig caught in a narrow place. (The oppressive sandal is supposed to look all ancient Egyptian.) Continue reading
Posted in Passover
Two-faced: one side...
Yesterday, I discovered my preschooler playing Purim with the minifigs. I had already assembled a few characters before I got distracted in the kitchen. I came back to find him with a doll in hand.
“Who’s this?” he asks, “and why does she look so mad?”
It’s Vashti. I remind him that she was fired as queen. Although he finally gets that “fired” does not involve actual flame, the word still feels violent, and it worries him.
“Well, maybe she didn’t like being queen,” he said. “Maybe she’s much happier now she’s not queen.” He took off her hair, gripped her face, and spun her head around. Continue reading
Posted in Jewish Toys, Purim
"EZ LEGO Gragger" with brick flange
The LEGO Gragger for Purim post was the official debut. It’s a “Why-To” with pics. This post is more of an extended How-To.
I’ve been asked for specs, so here are details that should get you started. I’ve already heard from one mom whose kids jumped right in and built their own prototypes. Made my day, I tell you. But some of us (adults) need how-tos, especially with moving parts. So here you go… Continue reading
Posted in Crafts, Purim
Tagged gragger, Lego
Lego gragger with canoe paddle flange
For Purim, we call it a gragger, but the generic and rather wicked-sounding term is “ratchet instrument.” Jews hardly have a monopoly on this thing. Throughout the world it’s been a child’s toy, a police call, a poison-gas alert, a football (soccer) noisemaker, a percussion instrument, a scarecrow and a lure for corncrakes. And now, finally, it’s Lego.
World, I give you Lego graggers. They spin, they make noise, and although Continue reading
LEGO minifig menorah
Couldn’t help myself.
Happy 8th night, y’all.
LEGO minifig menorah
(EDIT: see updated minifig menorah with all 8 flames)
Ok, ok, I knew posting about a LEGO menorah that holds real Hanukkah candles might cause trouble. I now present a few ultra-safe models that use LEGO bits as flames. Thus, nobody gets hurt, LEGOs don’t melt, and nothing will trigger the smoke alarm. Continue reading
LEGO and Duplo Hanukkah menorahs
The intersection of Jewish holidays and LEGO again, but this time, with fire. Continue reading
Posted in Hanukkah
Tagged Duplo, Lego
The intersection of Lego and Jewish holidays is always fun. Especially if the constructions actually do stuff. Like spin.
Here are a few Lego dreidels we created with oddments at home. They all spin, some better than others. Ideally, they’d all have the proper letter on each side: nun, gimmel, hey and shin, but I only added letters to the dreidels we figured on Continue reading
Our action figures now have a model sukkah well-appointed for hospitable gatherings. Actually, we have several, because it’s hard to stop once we start. Yesterday’s post tried to outline a classic craft: the tabletop or model sukkah made from tissue boxes and shoe boxes, plus some ideas for free-builds using Legos, Lincoln Logs and other construction toys.
Lulav and etrog, polymer clay. The pitom is a broom straw
Here is the lulav and etrog, sized for Playmobil and Duplo folk. They dwarf our Lego mini figs, but we use them anyway. Like the challah, apple slices and shofar assortment from Rosh Hashanah, I made them from polymer clay.
The etrog (citron) has a broom-straw pitom (stem). Lots of funky rules and folk wisdom about that pitom, by the way.
The lulav: palm frond in the middle, 3 myrtle branches on the right, 2 willow branches on the left, resting in a woven palm frond holder. I did have the Continue reading