These games can be keep-busy activities for that mad pre-
Pesach time around the house, first in creating them and then
fun for playing. Give the children a CLEAN corner without
nosh so that this game can really be Kosher lePesach.
It is Nisan. The rotating wheels of the Jewish calendar are
about to bring us back to Pesach. We jump in and begin our
pre-Pesach activities, organizing, cleaning and reviewing the
halochos of Pesach and the Haggada. Here is an extra
activity, one that is not essential to meeting the
seder schedule, but one that is of educational value
and that can add enjoyment and relaxation with your children
to the busy days ahead. In this project, we and our children
make our own Haggada Board Game, Memory Game and Lotto
The following games are designed to teach and familiarize
your children with the order of the Haggada. As you and your
children are creating and playing this game, open the pages
of the Haggada and look inside. The Haggada Game board, the
Memory game and the Lotto game is a companion to the Haggada
to reinforce its contents and message. Prepare the games in
ample time before Pesach cleaning and your seder so
that you have non-pressured time to spend with your child
reviewing or acquainting them with the order of the
seder. During Pesach, they will have their own
homemade game to play with and keep busy. The more
information you give over to the children as you play the
games the first time with them, the more they will have to
share with their friends as they play the game without you.
Make the games along with your child. Let them do as much of
the coloring and cutting and decision making as possible.
After all, it's only a game. Older children will be curiously
watching your preparations and may decide to take over and
finish the construction of the games.
Games are educational. They teach turn taking and
encourage order. Some games require skill and knowledge. Some
rely on chance and others provide information. They can be
costly. By making your own Pesach games, not only will you
save a bit of money but you will be providing your children
with skills that involve planning. Together with your
children, you will devise a plan and ground rules to play by.
The children will be required to envision the outcome of the
game (as well as their own actions). Designing, illustrating
and coloring the game is another plus for developmental
skills and confidence in expression. The goal is not
perfection in this area but simply for the fun and
The description and rules of the games are here for you to
follow. But, be sure to make any adjustments or additions as
you like to emphasis the concepts that you want to teach your
children, such as yiras shomayim, middos or whatever
we can learn from the Haggada.
The Haggada is multileveled with several stories running
through it simultaneously. As we sit at the seder
table in 5759, we travel between the period of slavery in
Egypt to the time of R' Akiva in Bnei Brak and up to our
Games #1 and #2 are ready to play after you make your own set
of lotto cards with illustrations from the Haggada.
Game #3 is played on a homemade game board using the lotto
cards as illustrations. The cards may be attached permanently
to the game board or laid out on the board, a table or floor,
played and then removed as in a game of solitaire.
Note: the dimensions of the game board will depend on the
size of the cards.
* 1 or more illustrated children's Haggada, preferably with
black and white illustrations. Or use the illustrations of
the Ten Plagues that accompany this article.
* White paper * Cardboard or heavy paper * Pencil and eraser
* Scissors and glue * Ruler * Black and colored fine or
medium tip markers * A box or plastic bag to store the game
board and cards.
* Space markers, one for each player; bottle caps, large
buttons or small toys. Check for safety when using small
children. * Optional: clear plastic contact adhesive to
protect the board and the cards.
GAME ONE - LOTTO CARDS
In this game, children match pairs of cards requiring
recognition and identification of the subject or concept.
* Choose a game theme from the Haggada. The simplicity or
complexity of the theme will depend on the ages of the
children who will be playing it. For example:
3-4 year olds: the Ten Plagues / 4-5 year olds: the 15 parts
of the Seder (if motzi and matza are combined,
there are 14) / 6 years and up: all of the Seder, page by
* Make 2 photocopies of each page from an illustrated
Haggada, according to your chosen theme. Choose from 10 to 44
* Or, make 2 copies of the Ten Plagues with these
* Reduce the size of each to approximately 3 1/2 x 3 1/2
inches (9 x 6 cm.) or a size suitable for lotto cards. Three-
year-olds may prefer cards larger than a standard card size
for easier holding.
* If several illustrations of the theme appear on one page,
such as the 10 plagues, photocopy that page twice and cut out
the ten (20) separate pictures.
* Color each illustration in with a fine colored marker.
* Be sure to use the same colors on each set of 2 cards.
* If there are not ample illustrations in your Haggada,
photocopy the written print on the pages that read according
to your theme. The children will have to search for matching
texts rather than matching pictures when they play the game.
If desired, draw in by hand the illustration or symbol.
* Color-code the text by coloring both sets of photocopies
the same color of the Haggada and the Seder at the same time.
Color coding identical or similar objects reinforces memory
in children that have heightened visual senses. Use color
coding throughout the two games for added memory retention
* Attach each picture to a piece of cardboard or heavy
* Cut out the cardboard of all the lotto cards in the same
* Add texture to the cards for added impact. This is a
helpful aid for children who learn better by touch and feel.
This is easily done by pulling off little tufts of colored
pom-poms or differently textured materials, leather scraps
etc. and gluing the pieces onto parts of the illustrations
such as the fur or wool of animals.
* Write the name of the scene or selection from the Haggada
in bold clear letters in Hebrew on the front of each card.
Write the English word on the back of the card.
* Optional: cover the cards in clear contact paper.
TO PLAY: Mix up both sets of cards together. Find the
matching pairs and say what they are. Use the rules of other
lotto games that you are familiar with as well.
GAME TWO: Memory Game. Make twelve (or more, depending on the
theme you choose) pairs of identical illustrations but do not
mark on the back. Shuffle them and lay them out on a flat
surface in rows, face down, four rows of six cards each
(etc.). Each player is allowed to lift up two cards at each
turn to try to find a pair. If they are not matched, he must
replace them and the next player gets a turn to remember
which card he saw where. Players keep each matched pair and
get another turn. The one with the most pairs wins.
To be continued next week with Haggada Board Game.