Nanoblock menorahs (w LEGO minifig for scale)
Happy first night of Hanukkah! I hope that by now, you have found a just-right menorah to light your holiday. Continue reading
Schlemiel on a Wheel (clumsy pushcart seller)
Mensch on a Bench and Maccabee on the Mantle are riffs on Elf on a Shelf. So, here’s my riff on the riffs: a trio of tiny Jews—Yiddish stock characters—on Things. All are cautionary tales. However, unlike the toy/book combos just mentioned, they are not surveillance tools for moral accountability. These guys don’t really care about you or your kids at all. Continue reading
LEGO minifig lulav and etrog
Our LEGO minifigs now have an appropriately-scaled lulav and etrog for their LEGO sukkah. For a few years, they’ve heard rumours that our Playmobil folk had a set, but now, both populations can shake and wave and sniff and try not to poke out each other’s eyeballs. Continue reading
Lincoln Log sukkah. With steps for Bubbe.
Psssst: a kid-crafted mini sukkah made with construction toys is way, way easier on you, the adult, than say, with edibles or up-cycled boxes. LEGO and Lincoln Logs and suchlike do not require you to run for the scissors and glue, to monitor frosting consumption, Continue reading
One piece of paper, folded. Add herbs for fragrant roof.
Kids can make a quick, mini sukkah from a single piece of construction paper. Quick doesn’t mean without context: you can teach the rules of sukkah-building (how many walls, type of roof, schach, etc.) and give an overview of the holiday while kids work. Continue reading
“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 pdf, 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 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. 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