Fun Passover ideas for kids!
We spent most of yesterday morning at the JCC-South
, where the Passover Bingo
game was featured as a "station" at the Jewish Community Center's "Passover Sampler." Kids has the chance to play the game, which resulted in a lot of running back and forth to get mom or dad's credit card and buy the game so they could play it more later. We especially loved one of the kids who quietly approached us while families were still registering, so he could take a sneak peek at the game. Then, when it was time for the first small group to play the colorful bingo board game, he already knew the answers to several of the clues we called out. For instance, before I could even finish asking the name of the leader who led the Israelites out of Egypt and split the Red Sea, he called out "MOSES!" and marked a square on his bingo board.
|First winner claiming her prize at the JCC-South Passover Sampler!|
The great thing about Passover Bingo is that every kid is a winner! Whether you play the game while reading through the Hagaddah at the seder, or quiz each other like we did yesterday on the key words associated with the holiday, eventually everyone will fill up at least a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line and get a BINGO.
We were very impressed with the other stations and creative ideas expressed at the Passover Sampler. There was a "Tiger Tales" story time featuring a story about Sammy the Spider who wanted to celebrate Passover rather than spinning a web; a room where kids could make pyramids out of sugar cubes and styrofoam cups, another room with tools to grate fresh horseradish and stir up ingredients for charoset; and finally a room to decorate festive (plastic) wineglasses. What struck me most about the day was that everything was low-tech but high in the fun factor. For a few precious hours, we just played games and used our creativity and imagination without the assistance of electronic devices. How often does that really happen anymore . . . in my world, not very often!
One week and counting till the first Seder of 2013 . . . are you ready yet?
Compliments of Eve Levy/The Jewish Experience Denver:
1 cup of pitted dates
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnut
1/4 tsp. dry ginger
1/4 cup sweet wine
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times until a coarse paste is formed.
Alternatively, cut the ingredients into very small pieces and mash for several minutes, then add wine, after all ingredients are combined.
DIY plague kit
So last night at the Jewish Experience
's Rosh Chodesh group, we heard from the brilliant and eloquent Eve Levy about women's role in the Exodus (way to go, Miriam!!) and also some tips on making the seder more fun for kids.
You know how there are those plague kits all over the place now? Well, Mrs. Levy made some good suggestions about creating a plagues out of inexpensive items. For instance: for the plague of BLOOD, make shot glasses filled with jello. For hail, you can use marshmallows (much softer impact than golf or wiffle balls), and so on . . . She also shared one family's trick to getting kids involved in the Seder and the story of Exodus: they get two long, thick streams of ribbon (or you can use blue bed sheets or other fabric) to simulate the sea. Adults hold the fabric in two parallel lines, and kids can run down the line on the carpet as they "cross the sea." Then, if someone dressed up as Pharaoh tries to cross, the sea closes (the sheets or fabric get thrown over him) and he drowns! A multi-sensory experience to get us all in the Passover spirit.
We also acquired a recipe for delicious Sephardi Charoset that was sampled at the event, but that will have to wait for another time . . .
Passover Bingo beats plague bags any day
Love this shout-out from Our Tribe & Joy, a great Jewish mom blog! Passover Bingo beats plague bags any day
Upcoming Events featuring Passover Bingo
Passover Bingo will be around town in the next few weeks leading up to Passover. On Tuesday, March 12, we'll have the game at the Jewish Experience'
s Rosh Chodesh Ladies' Night Out.
Then, on March 17, we will be demonstrating the game at the JCC-South Denver's
9:30-11:30 a.m. $15/family
JCC South Denver: 9625 E. Arapahoe Road, Greenwood Village, 80112 (NW corner of Arapahoe and Dayton)
Designed for children 3 years – first grade.
Children and their families are invited to experience an interactive Passover program. Learn about the traditions of Passover through storytelling, art, delicious holiday food, and Passover Bingo. JCC South Denver is partnering with Hebrew Educational Alliance, Denver Jewish Day School’s Tiger Tales for storytelling program, and Passover Bingo. To register, contact Dani Wynn or Melissa Hoch at southdenver@jccdenver or 303-799-6975.
Spice Up Seder with Passover Bingo – Jew and the Carrot – Forward.com
Great article about Passover Bingo by the brilliant Denver writer Nina Snyder! Spice Up Seder with Passover Bingo – Jew and the Carrot – Forward.com
Delicious Matza Toffee
Sometimes it is hard to find delicious foods to eat during the Passover holiday. We still crave sweet and salty items, but the lack or bread, regular cakes, cookies, muffins, etc. can be challenging. Don't fret! We have tested this recipe for Chocolate Matza Toffee, and think you'll enjoy it to satisfy your sweet tooth while still keeping the dietary restrictions of Passover.
This recipe makes about 30 servings of chocolate Matza Toffee.
6 whole matzos
1 cup salted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
20 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with foil and pinch the edges into a lip to contain drips. Grease the foil well with butter. Place the matzos onto the baking sheets, breaking them in half if needed.
Melt the butter in a saucepan with the brown sugar over medium heat; bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer the mixture until thickened, about 5 minutes. Ladle the hot sugar mixture over the matzos, spreading the mixture over the matzos with a rubber spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven until the sugar mixture is bubbling and thick, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool until the toffee coating is firm, about 15 minutes.
Place the semisweet chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on Low until the chips are just melted (do not let the chocolate overheat or scorch). Spread the melted chocolate over the toffee-coated matzos; sprinkle chopped pecans on top. Place the baking sheets into the refrigerator until the treats are cold, about 30 minutes. Remove the matzos from the foil, break up into pieces, and store in an airtight container or plastic bags in refrigerator or freezer.
Devour and enjoy :)
Passover 2013/5773 Vacation Plans
Passover is not too far away . . . who has cool plans? There are all sorts of Kosher-for-Passover trips and accommodations available, from "VIP" programs at swanky resorts in Scottsdale, to Carribean cruises, or entire weeks stretching out on the beach in Florida and grazing on delicious kosher food. Since Passover 2013/ 5773 falls very close to Spring Break time, we're guessing that hotels and airlines will charge a premium for Passover vacations this year.
Here at Passover Bingo, the plan so far is to decompress after what will be a hectic first season selling the Passover Bingo games. We are still a few months out, and sales have already started trickling in through the internet, and we got the word out through a recent promotion. The prospects for increased sales are very exciting, and the fact that people are ordering multiple games to play at large seders and keep all seder participants fully engaged thrills us to no end!Let us know
your cool Passover plans, especially if the place you're going needs to stock up on games!
Why is this holiday different from all other holidays?
According to the National Jewish Population Surveyhttp://www.jewishfederations.org/page.aspx?id=33650
, Passover is the most widely observed Jewish holiday. There are an estimated 5-7 million American Jews, and 77% of them have a Passover seder meal on the first and second nights of the holiday.
For comparison purposes, 72% of American Jews celebrate Chanukkah, and 46% belong to a synagogue. Why is Passover so widely observed? Do Jewish people like the idea of freedom? Do we really enjoy the dry unleavened bread? Or is it because Passover is the holiday where we became aware that we were G-d's Chosen People?
Passover cuts across the different levels of observance among Jewish people - more than 3/4 of all Jews in America will be sitting at a festively decorated table on the evenings of March 25 and 26 reading the story of Exodus from a Hagaddah booklet, and hopefully keeping kids engaged with the Passover Bingo game
, which features words and images from the key elements of the story of Exodus on easy to follow Bingo boards.
Educating the retailers
This week has been very exciting so far! I met with several local Denver bookstores and synagogue book shops. The synagogues knew right away what I was talking about when I mentioned the Passover Bingo game, no explanation needed. The large independently owned bookshop . . . well that was another story. First I had to pretty much stalk the buyer, who is crammed into an office in the basement with piles of products to review. No wonder he was too busy to return my calls! I presented him with the Passover Bingo game, and he wondered if it would be as popular as the Hanukkah gifts. I told him that no matter how you spell it, Chanukah is only made into a bigger deal of a holiday because it falls near Christmas, and that more Jews have Passover seders than celebrate any other Jewish holiday. With this fresh knowledge, he took another look at the game and ordered some for the stores! Yippee! Had a similar experience at a housewares chain, which will be written about in a future post. Meanwhile, only one day left in our Jewcer campaign, http://jewcer.com/project/passover-bingo-gameThe fulfillment team has been busy getting the games ready for shipment! I am very grateful to have a kind and responsive team supporting me.
Fun and games during Passover
Let's face it... we're all kids at heart! Why not act that way? Each year during the Passover holiday, we prepare a Seder, during which we read the story of Exodus
from the Hagaddah
and enjoy a delicious feast of special Passover foods. Today, it takes a lot to keep people's attention for more than 160 characters, especially the under 4 feet crowd. What to do? Why not make your Seder more fun by giving participants a game to play to bone up on Passover basics before the holiday, or even playing bingo while you read the Hagaddah?
During a Passover (Pesach) Seder, you can follow a Bingo game's traditional rules by placing a marker for specific words that are mentioned during the reading of the Hagaddah, or make your own creative variation. A word list and explanations are included in our version, so the bingo game can be played any time people get in the Pesach mood. Playing the Passover Bingo game
, whether a homemade one or professionally designed one, adds an interactive element to your seder!
Of course, Passover Bingo is not the only game you can play during Passover, though it's one of the few that you can actually use to make the Seder more fun. There are lots of other free and creative ideas you can use to make the holiday more fun and interesting for kids. For instance, you could play a Passover version of "Jeopardy," having Passover-related words in mind and making kids formulate questions about them. You could have categories like "plagues," "numbers," and "people," by having questions such as:
• BLOOD -- What is the first plague?
• ELIJAH -- Who is the guest that mysteriously appears to drink wine?
• FOUR -- What is the number of cups of wine we drink at the Seder?
• FOUR -- What are the number of questions asked during the Seder?
• FOUR -- What is the number of sons?
• FROGS -- what is the second plague
• MATZAH -- What is made of dough that didn't have time to rise as our forefathers were rushed out of Egypt?
• WISE, WICKED, SIMPLE, UNKNOWING -- Who are the four sons?
• TEN -- What are the number of plagues?
These are just some of the ideas we have to make your Passover holiday more fun. Please contact us if you have others to share!
Friends make the virtual world go round . . .
Publicity and Endorsements
We are so excited that the coolest Jewish mom blog site, Kveller, reviewed and loves our product! They have mentioned us on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, as have several other publications and blogs. If you haven't heard, we're currently running a promotion, through Friday January 11th, with Jewcer, whereby people will be able to get the game at a discounted price if enough people participate in the promotion (it's at http://jewcer.com/project/passover-bingo-game if you want to check it out).
Due to feedback that has been received, we've also recently revised the instruction sheet to include a call sheet with the words on the squares, together with explanations. This way, people can play the game to learn about the Passover holiday before or after the seder, and of course you can still play traditional Passover Bingo during the seder by listening for key words as the Haggadah is read and covering the squares appropriately.
More news coming soon!
We celebrated several milestones this week. The first "live" order (to a friend, at lunch, but that still counts, right?) and our first internet order! Woo hoo! We are growing in Twitter and Facebook followers, too. Most exciting is the fact that we now have Facebook fans who we don't personally know. The Facebook "insights" page shows that we have several hundred people who saw our posts or comments on our posts, and tens of thousands of potential eyeballs who are friends of our fans. This is all very exciting, and add to that the fact that our credit card processing system is back up and running again. Phew! What a week.
Creating a Passover Game. . .
Creating a new game has been quite a learning experience. I thought it would be simple: design the game, find a manufacturer, order, and sell. Oh, but there are so many intermediate steps! Customs. Two different web guys (one who helped out of the goodness of his heart; the other to whom we paid a pretty penny). Payment gateways. Customs brokers. Logistics centers. Warehouse and fulfillment centers -- the first one tried to screw us in so many ways! But, it was all worth it when we went to the warehouse the other day and saw the pallets of gleaming Passover Bingo games sitting there, ready to get into the hot hands of people who want to be ready for the holiday. Absolutely thrilled with the quality, and with the fulfillment center we eventually ended up with, who loves small businesses. Hoping that the sales go quickly and smoothly so we can order another batch before Passover 2013!