Giveaway: Moses and Pharaoh Action Figures for Passover

Two sets of Moses and Pharaoh Action Figures ready to ship....frogs included. Photo from

A giveaway. My first. I make this leap in order to share something marvy for Passover.  I love Jewish toys, and if there is cuteness or kitsch involved, I love them even more.  Take this Moses and Pharaoh action figure set.  No really, take it.  I have two sets to give away.  I want to share them with two winners who will play the heck out of ’em.  Let me explain…

These are old. Yours will be new.

I bought a Moses and Pharaoh  from ChaiKids when my daughter was little.  We used it every Passover week.  Moses and Pharaoh helped us tell the story of the Exodus at the seder table. We made pyramids from blocks and acted out the plagues with tiny toys.  They joined us as props for our Passover Parent classroom visits.  We used them in the sandbox.  And, they made great bath toys (tub=Nile River).  Fifteen years later, they are still pressed into service during Passover, and still played with at the seder table by guests of all ages.

Moses isn’t mentioned in traditional haggadahs, by the way, so having a vinyl, 5.5 inch version of Moses at the seder can help little kids grasp, literally, the personnel of the Exodus.

About the same size as matzah, actually.

The set is still sold by Chai Kids, and only by Chai Kids.  When I emailed the owner to make sure I was right about this fact, she generously offered to donate two sets for a giveaway.

Chai Kids was the first kid-centered Jewish catalog way back when I was new at all this, and boy, did I love them.  I had a toddler in Nashville and no local family, Judaica shop or Internet (because it didn’t really exist, yet). Here’s what the company is all about, in a nutshell:

Chai Kids looks for, and sometimes creates ourselves, the very best products available so children can experience the joy of the holidays and everyday Jewish life. We specialize in dramatic and creative play.

You just can’t go wrong with dramatic and creative play, people.

Do you want Moses and Pharaoh action figures?

Here’s how to enter:
Comment below, once per person.  It’d be nifty if you shared a Passover activity/idea/book/tip for parents of young kids in the comment, too.

U.S. mailing addresses only, please.  Make sure you comment using an email address or other link so I can get in touch with you if you win.

Help me show Chai Kids this is worth their time and fabulous toys by spreading the word, please.  Share this post via Facebook (I have a new Facebook page) or retweet my Twitter announcement (@BBBalabusta).  I’ve stuck Facebook and Twitter links on the page here, over on the right-hand column….see them?

I’ll select two winners at random (believe me, I’ll obsess over this), and then Chai Kids will ship each winner a fabulous set in time for the first seder.

The two winners will be announced Wednesday, March 28th.

Looking forward to hearing from you.  I will hear from you, right?  I told you this was a leap…

49 responses to “Giveaway: Moses and Pharaoh Action Figures for Passover

  1. Awww, and I’m here in Canada…

    Oh well, here’s my tip anyhow: move the seder away from the table to a circle of cushions, couches, comfy chairs, mattresses, etc. The kids can stay at the seder all night – let them come in jammies, with pillows, etc. The exodus is a fabulous bedtime story. Instead of the traditional maggid section let the adults take turns telling the story of the Exodus.

    • I thought of you when I typed the words “U.S. Addresses only.” I’m sorry about that! You are so kind to comment anyway, and to offer such good suggestions. Thank you…

  2. The seder I go to at a friends’ – they use scallions to hit each other with during a part of the seder. Supposedly it’s a Sephardic custom. At any rate, it’s a lot of fun.
    Another friend fills their table with frogs of all shapes and sizes that they’ve collected over the years.
    One of my HS students actually came up with a game with Moses in it in my Jewish Educational Game class. I told him there was actually a Moses action figure he could use as part of his game! He didn’t believe me!

    • I’ve always wanted to see the scallion thing in action. We throw plagues, which means we all get hit with something, eventually, but not with scallions. Have you seen the tablet-wielding Moses sold by I use him to top Shavuot cakes, but he’s not nearly as Charleton Hestonesque as the ones up for grabs here. Thank you for commenting. I’d hoped a teacher might try to win.

  3. Another awwwww from all the way over here in Australia… 🙂 Fortunately we already have the world’s most awesome Moses and Pharaoh made from cardboard tubes and pipecleaners (must post about that soon!)

    We re-enact the 10 plagues, mostly by tipping things over Pharaoh. We also do our seder (everything up until the main meal) at floor level with beanbags and a pile of cushions which we keep in the attic and pull out just for this one night a year. We have a large frog collection (my daughter loves them) and also swipe each other with scallions, while singing Dayenu.

    Our haggadah is an eclectic, home-edited, annually updated delight which I compile(d) from various sources. Each year I take a photo of my daughter holding a box of matzah and put it on the cover next to the preceding years’ pictures. Either she’s growing or matzah comes in smaller boxes every year. 🙂 The joy of having it editable (we just print it out on our home printer) is we can adjust the content to suit the age/background of those coming, and include things which are not in more serious editions (eg Pesach lolcats, alternative questions & readings, great quotes, more frog pictures…), plus it doesn’t matter if you spill things on it.

    The highlight of Pesach for me is the songs, if you currently only say your Seder and don’t sing much of it, I would recommend learning some of the melodies as they are really beautiful.

    • I know, Australia. I thought about that, too and I’m sorry! Although, now I want to see the homemade Moses and Pharaoh. Please post. Your haggadah sounds marvelous, especially the picture of your daughter added every year. I WISH I had done that. Plus, the ability to customize based on age and experience of guests is awesome. Your cushions and beanbags sound a lot like December Baby’s comment, and very cozy. Sitting at a table for hours is not kid-friendly. Thank you for sharing your good ideas!

  4. Carri Wasserberg

    I like teaching about Passover through children’s songs. The Allards sing some of my favorites.

  5. Your commenters have such great suggestions! The matzah-box growth-chart haggadah cover is genius. We also create our own haggadah every year — I have the kids draw a new cover, illustrating some aspect of the seder, every year.

    Last year I played Pharaoh for a bit of the seder, making snarky comments, and sarcastically poured water into the “slaves'” glasses, then when I poured water into my own, I’d hidden a few granules of (not K for P, sorry) red gelatin powder in the bottom of the glass, which turned the water red like blood, and then I screamed like a banshee. My 4-year-old niece’s eyes nearly bugged out of her head.

    • Marvelous. Your niece will never forget crazy auntie Pharaoh and the First Plague. The blood plague is my favorite, despite the zillions of freaky associations and the dangers of making young guests’ eyes bug out of their head.
      So, do you cut and paste from different haggadot, and do you scan and print? The hand-drawn covers are a great idea. I want to do this even though it mean another storage box in the attic. Going to email you about particulars, now. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Beth in Brooklyn

    Oh, my son would love these! (And if he doesn’t, I would!) I also love the 10 Plagues masks my aunt gave him one year; she’s the best with the Jewy gifts. Very interactive–and festive, too! I mean, who doesn’t want to be Hail? Though I could pass on Blood and especially the First Born with the eyes X’d out, but hey, it’s from ChaiKids, too!

    • “Who doesn’t want to be hail?” Hee hee. So true. You are lucky to have an aunt who bestows Jewy gifts. My kids have one too, and it’s the best. Thank you for the comment and the mask link.

  7. Andrea Cohn

    I am Shabbat School director at my synagogue and have an abundance of 3-6 year old boys who would LOVE these!

    • I’ve used these toys at schools and syn. programs, and am pleased to report the girls are as smitten as the boys. I’m curious: do you have a blog where you share your experiences as a Shabbat school director?

  8. I don’t have any suggestions yet because our son is just now old enough to start understanding what’s going on (20ish months). He does love playing with his “Matzah Ball” beach ball that I won as the afikomen prize last year at my family’s seder. (

    Oh, wait I just remembers we have plague finger puppets we can use this year! So, I think at our first night seder I’ll breakout the finger puppets with my wife and see if we can’t drop some learnin’ on the kid 🙂

    • I know that beach ball well, and I like the juggling-size matzah balls even better (although they hurt more, too). The latter are good for tossing into an empty stock-pot for a Passover game. Thanks for commenting again!

  9. My son is 3, and this is is the 1st year he’s really old enough to participate in the seder- so unfortunately I don’t have any fabulously creative ideas yet. But I am loving all the ideas posted here and will be incorporating them into our seder!!

  10. We get 3-4 families together each year. Most of the kids went to preschool together (they are now ages 5-9) and we still use the Haggadahs they made as preschoolers. The singing is the highlight. This year I think we need more props, we would love to have the action figures 🙂 And I really want to do the red geletin in the water glass! Love your website, thank you for all the wonderful ideas.

    • You can use red food coloring, too, just a few (secret) drops in the bottom of a clear glass. Make sure you pour the water from a clear pitcher, so it looks totally magic as it becomes blood. That’s neat that the same families are growing up via seders together. Thanks for commenting.

  11. I plan on making origami paper frogs for the table that “jump” (kind-of). The action figures look like fun!

    • Hey, we make jumping origami frogs out of colored 3×5 index cards every year! They really do work, but as you say, “kind of.” Sometimes we use Miriam’s tambourine as a target. Thanks for commenting.

  12. When I was growing up we had a kids table–probably from when the youngest were in grade school. As this was well before “zero tolerance” we often ended the evening pretty groggy. So my tip would be to either not have a kids table or to fill the kids’ Manischewitz bottle with grape juice.

    • Sneaky. Even without a kid’s table, they do manage to drain grownup glasses when no one is looking. Eliyahu is not going to miss a few ounces of wine, after all. One time, the grape juice I served was so old it had fermented, and at least one kid claimed to have gone tipsy.

  13. I love your blog. Your ideas are so fun! The fun thing we do doesn’t seem fun after reading these comments – love the red in the water glass. I clearly have to up the fun factor this year. 🙂 I did find some kid friendly haggadah (don’t remember where) that were much better than the old Maxwell House versions my husband has from when he was a kid. We also throw things for the various plagues – the most fun! My 6-year old loves to tell how he landed a marshmallow in someone’s wine glass.

    • Thanks, Katie. Yay for throwing plagues, and marshmallows are far less hurty than the pingpong balls we throw here. Listen, if this whole comment thread of ideas is at all daunting, just think of it as a buffet and take what you like, and what you can actually have fun making time to do. I’m adding one new thing this year, and that’s it.

  14. Such great ideas here!
    One year, we used huge red construction paper that we pre-cut in a wavy pattern, then pulled apart, so everyone at the table could get up and cross the Red Sea!
    Another year, we took shoe boxes and covered them to look like bricks. Then our girls and friends “hoisted” them on their shoulders, to replicate the movements of slaves hard at work.
    When one daughter was older, she wrote a play that we used for many years that tells the story in a funny way.
    Our adults love the scallion “beatings” that someone above mentioned.
    Soon, I’ll post the words if anyone is interested ( that I wrote as a Seder welcome song (good for folks who don’t know the story) to the tune of “You Are My Sunshine,” so that everyone could sing along. We played guitar/banjo with it — creating perhaps the first-ever bluegrass Seder.
    Thanks, so much, Joanna, for everything you do!!

    • Thanks for the lively ideas, Ellen, tried and true. Looking forward to seeing what you’ll be putting in the Passover edition of “Jewish Holidays in a Box.” I tried to put your facebook page link in here, but it won’t accept html…

      • No worries about the link. If folks want the words to that song, they know where to visit us on Facebook. (We added several bluegrass elements that year — very fun.)

  15. my children are pretty young but definately respond to toys on the seder table and love a drawn out, difficult afikomen hunt. I hope my 5 year old doesn’t ask questions about the 10th plague this year, last year I think it kind of flew over his head but this year there might be tough questions.

    • We have to compare notes about our respective, drawn-out afikomen hunts. The tenth plague…it’s helped my kids and students to know that they are in company: Rabbis have been struggling with this story for a long time. I’ve noticed that the difficult questions don’t seem to happen during the seder, but during storybooks and pre-seder activities, when there is more time to ponder. It would be interesting to see a comment thread just about the tenth plague and young kids. There must be one somewhere?

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  17. I have a 2 year-old so this will be our first real family seder. When I was growing up my family never really did much more than just the four questions so I’m starting family traditions from scratch. So far, we’ve been playing with the kidcraft passover playset, reading some passover books (we like Company’s Coming, It’s Seder Time and Where is the Afikomen?), and listening to holiday music (esp. Rachel Buchman). I’m hoping to put together some plague bags for the actual seder. I’m getting great ideas from this post, thank you!

    • Sounds great. If your tradition permits, take loads of pictures. If not, take loads of pictures before the seder. Make sure you are actually in some of them! Thank you for your comment.

  18. Oh, my six year-old would go nuts over these. We’ve been singing Dayenu all weekend. About a week ago, I set up a our version of a nature table with our Passover toys and spring decorations for the kids to play with and to let them know what the next holiday is. It gets us all in the mood and gives the kids plenty of time to check out the toys they haven’t seen in a year (like the 10 plagues finger puppets) and ask questions that lead to great conversations!

  19. This Passover should be interesting. My triplets are now 3 year-old, so this is the first year they will really begin to understand. They have been learning about passover at there Jewish Pre-school….and have been sing the cutest “baby Moses in a basket” song all week. They would LOVE these action figures!

  20. these would go great with my ten plagues props (sunglasses=darkness, plastic locust bug, ice cube=hail etc..) I like your blog too. check us out
    our kids are older but we still celebrate and kvetch
    have a zissen (sweet) Pesach!

    • Oh my. Your book—JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words— has been on my Ready Reference shelf since it came out in 2001. But I didn’t realize you had the blog and all those other writing gigs. I’ll follow! Bet we have Philly people in common, too. Thanks for your comment.

  21. Such a brilliant idea! I listed a different Moses action figure in my own “top 10 Passover toys” post on my blog, but this pair is much more delightful. Kudos to Chai kids– I think I saw that they have some great puppets for the chag, too.

    I am now doing a roundup of top 10 Passover links…and I am definitely including the Bible Belt Balabusta! Yasher koach on a great and charming blog–The south will rise again! 🙂

    • i enjoyed looking at all your books at your site. Yep, ChaiKids does have good Torah story puppets. I’ve love my synagogue to have some for story times.
      Thanks for including me in your friendly Passover roundup (and of course you should include your own art!).

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  23. We do the scallions minhagim for Dayyenu, the kids love it.
    Chag Samech , Michal.

  24. These action figures look great!
    We have lots of kid friendly “traditions” at our seder and some more I’ve picked up over the years, that seems not many other do. We have a lot of singing and interaction. This is a favorite song: I’ll try find the music for it if you dont know the tune;
    Hand actions for the “Who knows… ?” at the end of the seder and the Finale is always Chad Gadia with sound effects!
    To get everyone involved in the seder – chocolate for every time someone participates always goes down a treat!

  25. Pingback: Action figures: the winners | Bible Belt Balabusta

  26. Rachel Salomon-Sadowitz

    For my kids, I always let them decorate the table with the number of things according to the age. Example when Rebecca was 6, she could bring six things, no larger than the palm of my hand. I had three kids within 13 months, so it got crowded. As they grew older, I created themes of things that they could bring to decorate. Once we did plagues, however, I was never thrilled with crickets on my table lol. I would LOVE the figurines. I am a sunday and hebrew school teacher for kindergarten and 1st grade students and have a play area since I have 17 kids in my class. We are in the south, and I am always looking for Jewish toys and games for the kids, since most are the only Jewish kids in their schools.
    I am always trying to find creative ways to teach the holidays. This year we each made a keepsake seder plate so the kids could help tell the story including the plagues. I purchased gold charger plates, and wrote on the sides all nine plagues. had the kids cut out from deep red felt drops of blood, glued on plastic frogs, used rice in small dixie cups and had the kids use a black marker to make it look like lice, bought farm animalsand they used sharpies to make them look diseased, jungle animals, I had red beads for plant arrangements and when I cut them the looked like boils, cut strings of white shimmering beads for hail , took felt furniture feet circles and had the kids color them black for darkness, and the death of the first born, bought in the dollar store teddy bear tooth picks. Cut the picks off then put x’s in the eyes (my kids said all the video games show this as dead, and I didnt want a baby on the plate), for the middle we cut up silk leaves for the parseley and different width for the lettuce, used foam to cut out bones, made playdoh with beads for charoset, bought plastic crickets, Used foam shapes for the kids to print Pesach in hebrew in the middle I wrote the word on the side in English and transliterations since the kids were in K/1 They had such a blast making these, and of course I made up a song to remember the plagues. I love reading all the suggestions, and thank you for your site. I came across it because I was looking for Pesach Lego. I wish there were sets.. I would buy one for each holiday for my classroom!

    • Thanks for the details! I bet the play area in your classroom is a blast.
      About the LEGO set idea: you can make your own holiday sets with bits and pieces. The minifigs have a huge range of “outfits” and accessories. It just takes a while to accumulate a big enough collection. I pick them up at yard sales and whatnot. Since you are a teacher, maybe you could pass the word for school parents to donate outgrown collections for the classroom. Although, I don’t understand how anyone can outgrow LEGO…

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