Sometimes, half an hour is all you have, yet kids need to make something useful for the seder table. So, let’s welcome the 30-minute Matzah Tray to the ranks of the 30-minute Afikomen Bag, the 30-minute Felt Matzah Cover, and the 30-minute Three-Pocket Matzah Holder.
The Matzah Tray is another oldie but goodie. And if you use poster board, it will biodegrade when your tolerance for Sunday School tchotchkes wanes.
Make sure kids know why matzah needs to be on the seder table. After all, another name for Passover is Chag haMatzot: Festival of the Matzahs. The bread of affliction, the bread of slavery, the bread of haste is rather important…
You’ll need one piece of real matzah to show. If your local custom forbids the eating of matzah this close to Passover, ask if the not-kosher-for-Passover kind is okay. Don’t just mime a piece of matzah, show it.
Yes, we use the matzah as a model when we rub brown crayon over our tray, but you’d need it anyway. Because it’s real. And because it’s been a year since anyone’s seen matzah.
• Square of white posterboard. At least 12×12 inches.
• 8″ square of scrap cardboard to fold the posterboard against. (If you don’t use this as a form, you’ll end up guessing where to fold or, gasp, measuring.)
• Scissors and ruler to cut the posterboard from the big piece you just bought.
• Brown crayons without wrappers.
• Hole Punch.
• Yarn and scissors.
• Stencils for Mem, Tzaddi and Hey, or models for kids to see and mimic. (I cut cardboard stencils using our ancient diecut machine. You can also use thick diecut letters and ask kids to trace around them.)
Kids should do everything, if possible:
With the 12×12 square in front of you:
• Align the scrap of 8×8 cardboard in middle and fold sides of posterboard in on top of it.
• Now you have creases snug against the scrap piece and you didn’t have to measure anything!
• Remove scrap piece. Save it for something else.
• Trace Mem, Tzaddi, Hey in middle of 12×12 square.
• Find a bumpy surface like concrete, and put square on it.
• Rub square with sides of brown crayon. Rub extra on the edges where matzah is always darker. Are you looking at a real piece of matzah? Good.
• Laminate now, should you fancy. Laminate is not enviro-friendly, but it makes a matzah tray more stable and shiny.
• Cut a piece of yarn or ribbon about 7 inches long.
• Fold two sides together to form one corner, and punch one hole that squeezes the two sides tight. The corner will poke out. See pic.
• Tie the corner with a bow.
• Repeat on other 3 sides.
Note tray can fold flat for storage if necessary.