Kids can make an origami shofar to play with, to set on the table as a place-card or decoration, or to glue to the front of a Rosh Hashanah greeting card. This pattern is taken directly from Florence Temko’s book Jewish Origami.
Ideally, of course, kids make a paper shofar in the presence of a real one, but if you don’t keep a ram’s horn in the china cabinet like I do, the Internet is full of videos and pictures.
I’ve used white-backed origami paper for my demo pics, but all the rest are made with printer paper or grocery sack paper. Any lightweight square paper will do, but thinner is better. Super thick paper will be too bulky to fold in half, and end up looking like chubby rugelach.
If using rectangular paper (printer, construction, etc.), just cut a square from the triangle in the usual way. When my kids use white paper, we color it afterward with watercolor pencils and then smudge it with a barely-damp paper towel. You can use rubbing crayons (without the paper casing) or very dry watercolor, etc. Markers would be my least favorite choice because they don’t blend, but some kids absolutely insist on markers.
The only tricky part comes near the end, when you have to make a series of three pleasts: sets of valley and mountain folds. Sometimes, I take a pencil and lightly mark where each of these pleats go (to appease perfectionists). Really, the pattern is very forgiving. That last step of pulling out the three pleats to make the straight shofar into a curved shofar seems to make any attempt look decent. We’re going for fair verisimilitude here, not origami mastery.
Most of all, we’re going for a hands-on exploration of the shofar, presented in context with all the good stuff about what is a shofar and why we blow it and how we blow it and when we blow it…
See the neat (printable) visual guide to the shofar sounds at Joyful Jewish.
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