Origami Sukkah for Kids (easy tabletop toy)

one piece of paper, folded. Add herbs for fragrant roof!

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.

Frankly, I prefer LEGO, Lincoln Logs, scrap, and edibles for mini sukkah builds, because kids never seem to get enough time with solid, 3-D construction materials, but today, I need something fast and paper-based.  This is my original model and I keep it very simple: no tricky folds at all!

One sheet of construction paper, 12 x 18″  (the big size)
Scissors (to cut a door)
Tape (one piece)
Drawing materials (crayons or colored pencils, etc.)
Add some wooden coffee stirrers for the roof supports, and teeny branches for schach (Eastern hemlock twigs are ideal, but I used thyme and other little herbs)

Demonstrate and narrate the folds as you make them, so kids can mimic your movements.  Even though this model is super easy, follow the usual rule of teaching origami beside a student (rather than facing).

Pure origami doesn’t need scissors, as one of my students likes to remind me, but we are not purists, we are MAKERS.  Scissors will cut an entrance to our paper sukkah so that our minifigs or cork people or Playmobil pirates can welcome guests.  Hospitality = Hachnassat Orchim.  Oh, Sukkot gives us so many mitzvot to explore!

Click on a thumbnail to enlarge and start the slideshow.
Instructions are in the slideshow, but also listed below, near LINKS.

Kids can just line up some twigs, casual-like.
For our model, we white-glued a framework of about 7 coffee stirrers to each other, not to the sukkah.  A separate roof frame means kids can lift the one-piece roof and reach inside the sukkah to play! 

On the framework, we put a few herbs from the yard to be fragrant schach.  Remember, the dolls inside must see more shade than sun, and see the stars at night, just like real people in a real sukkah!



(P.S. I bought a box of 1000 5.5 inch coffee stirrers for less than 3 bucks at a Cash ‘n’ Carry food service store.  Will use them also for Hebrew letter formation and scrap art.  What a deal!)

Happy building!

Because even minifigs have mitzvot

Because even minifigs have mitzvot

LINKS (to my other model sukkah DIYs):
Make a tabletop sukkah from an upcycled box, or toy construction sets
Edible sukkah: step by step photos, nutshell version
Edible sukkah: for meticulous, group project in a kosher synagogue/JCC
Edible sukkah: for casual home projects
Mini lulav and etrog (polymer clay) for tabletop sukkahs

INSTRUCTIONS (also in the slideshow above):
Place the big sheet in front of you.

1. Fold in half, hot-dog style.  Unfold.

2. See the middle line?  Now fold the bottom edge up to the middle line and make and make a crease.

3. Fold the top edge down to the middle line and make a crease.

4. Fold the paper in half again, hot-dog style.

Here’s where kids can pause and decorate the paper.  One side will be the outside of the sukkah and one side with be the inside. (They can decorate after step 8, too, but it will harder to access the inside after taping.)

5. Fold the paper in half hamburger-style.  See the new center line (my dotted line)?

6. Bring left edge to center line, crease well.  Bring right edge to center line, crease well.

7. Tape the left and right edges together. (I used visible tape for you.)

8. Open into a stable square.  Cut a door.  Add roof slats and schach.

Lulav and etrog, polymer clay. The pitom is a broom straw

Lulav and etrog, polymer clay. The pitom is a broom straw

knock yourself out with a Twizzler pull 'n' peel basket filled with kosher fruit-shaped candies

Edible Sukkah (with Twizzler basket of kosher fruit-shaped candy)

2 responses to “Origami Sukkah for Kids (easy tabletop toy)

  1. If only my real life sukkah was so easy to put together… 🙂

    • Ha! The minifigs have it easy, for sure. Don’t you do a PVC version? I’ve had a PVC plan in my head for years, but only in my head. We do a wood pop-up, lift-the-lattice thing I designed and even THAT is a struggle.