Passover to Shavuot diorama (thumbprint people)

the Sea of Reeds withThumbprint people

the Sea of Reeds withThumbprint people

Just in time for Shavuot, here’s another Mt. Sinai project. It’s really a three-holiday diorama, but your kid can make just the Shavuot portion in about half an hour, once you’ve raced around the house collecting supplies.

The diorama has three parts.  They fit together to form a narrative:


the 49 days of the Omer, with Lag b’Omer representing day #33

Mt. Sinai (for Shavuot)

Mt. Sinai (for Shavuot)

The three parts:

  1. A Sea of Reeds (where the Israelites become a Free Nation)
  2. Mt. Sinai (where the Israelites become a Holy Nation) and
  3. Lag b’Omer on step #33 of the 49 days of the Omer in between the two major holidays.

Here’s one Kindergartner’s version of Mt. Sinai.  His thumbprint Israelites are having quite a conversation…

Kindergarten Mt. Sinai

Kindergarten Mt. Sinai (with magnetic Tablet)

Yes, I KNOW I took the idea of the curly paper Sea of Reeds right smack off the Internet, but I modified it with thumbprint people.  In my short Sunday School classes, I don’t have time for the kids to make adorable cork people or clothespin people or any other kind of figures that require kids to glue stuff onto said corks or wooden forms or whatnot.  NO TIME FOR GLUE, have I.  Alas.  But thumbprint people, oh my, there is always time for thumbprint people.  Thumbprint art is the great leveller.  Everyone can make a good thumbprint person and feel like an artist.

More on all this later.  Must post before Shabbat.


gluing squares of tissue onto Sinai. They have to overlap, or they’ll fall off…

Note that the thumbprint people who cross the Sea with Moses are the same thumbprint people who make it to the base of Mt. Sinai.  WE ARE THE THUMBPRINT PEOPLE, I tell my classes.  We were there.  And, on Lag b’Omer this year, we enacted this narrative in class.  See that post here.

If you are wondering why there is a green kraft stick poking out of the cup, and with a glued washer, no less, it’s because this is the support for the 10 Commandment Tablet destined for top of the mountain. The Tablet has a magnet glued to the back.  I devised this method so kids could enjoy the Tablets on the mountain for Shavuot, and then, after Mom gets sick of seeing a paper-covered cup lying around, the Tablets can have a second life stuck to the fridge.

Supplies for Mt. Sinai: plastic cup, squares of green tissue, liquid starch (or white glue), foam brush, kraft stick, metal washer, magnet and plaster Ten Commandments (or just cut a Tablet shape out of cardboard).

Need help?  Holler at me on facebook or here.  Plus, I’ll come back next week and fill in gaps.

Meanwhile, Happy Shavuot!

EDIT: This year, we didn’t even have time for the tissue squares, so I offered green Frog tape. It’s painter’s tape, but wide and greeeeeen. They loved it. The learned the new skill of how to tear tape, they learned what painter’s tape is made for, and they enjoyed wrapping a re-used styrofoam cup with it.

Also, kids painted thick paper plates for the mountain base and painted their sticks at the same time. I put a blob of green tempera and a blob of white tempera in a margarine tub so they could blend a color that matched our tape. They LOVED blending the paint. I need to offer that more often.

Here are pics:

Tape-wrapped mountains

Tape-wrapped mountains

Detail of Israelites waiting for Moses at the bottom of Sinai

Detail of Israelites waiting for Moses at the bottom of Sinai

2 responses to “Passover to Shavuot diorama (thumbprint people)

  1. Pingback: Lag BaOmer activity: the Omer Walk | Bible Belt Balabusta

  2. Thumbprint Israelites – awesome!!
    Magnetic 10 commandments that can be rehomed on the fridge – double awesome!!
    This is totally going on my “to do next year” list! 🙂