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Our first lapbook… in progress

lapbook 001P.S. Update here - pics of lapbook in Progress: great success!

Naomi doesn’t know it yet (she’s sleeping), but beyond our Mah Nishtana book (which has now been downloaded, by my estimate, by over 200 people) here are the bones of what we’re doing as our super-jumbo extra-wonderful project to work towards Pesach: a lapbook. Or lapfolder. Or whatever… call it what you like.

I got sucked in by all the excitement of other parents who have used lapbooks. I don’t know? Is it just kitschy? Is it a gimmick, or do kids really learn more when they’re colouring and cutting and assembling? Naomi doesn’t have a great deal of patience for that kind of thing, but the stuff I’ve brought together here is pretty varied, so I hope it will work well for her age, patience, level of knowledge, etc.

The ingredients:

  • Large seder plate images – to colour and stick in a circle
  • Small cute round haggadah (courtesy of
  • Baby Moshe (cute activity borrowed from church website)
  • Story of Moshe (small homemade “book” in 4 panels)
  • “Pyramids” counting book (6 pages; triangle shape)
  • Ten makkos/plagues wheel (courtesy of
  • Paper doll girls to colour / dress and stick in somehow
  • Misc clip art – Armenian seder plate (like ours!); haggadah image

… and all wedged into a leftover-from-the-big-kids pocket folder I had lying around the basement.

This should take us a while to complete. I’m hoping to get it all done by the end of next week, but don’t quote me on that. Anytime before Pesach is good, really!

Frankly, the way I feel about yamim tovim is that kids younger than six don’t really need to formally learn anything about them anyway. I mean, they are learning by LIVING them, and that is the best way. The sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of Pesach are more important than the dry and technical details.

Those are impressions that MUST be gathered now, and you really don’t want to distract kids by making it too dull and intellectual. Just yet – or ever?

So why am I doing a lapbook at all…? Especially because, with a 5-year-old, it’s bound to be pretty labour-intensive on my part (okay, it already HAS been!). First, because it’s cute and fun and will allow us to spend quality time together, reading and talking and cutting and gluing…which can’t be a bad thing.

Second (and here I get to turn all shy), if it turns out okay, then maybe in time for next year, I can make it available; bundle everything together as a PDF and sell it for some smallish amount of money to cover the amount of trouble I’ve gone through assembling it for my own ungrateful children. So there! I’m not a total altruistic tzadekes, after all.

Not that my family ever thought I was!


  1. There must be something in the air about Pesach lapbooks. My friend's dd is making one, and now my girls are making them, too. We have a circle book seder plate and an accordian fold "simanei haseder" book. Tomorrow, we add (our own, Ivrit only) Mah Nishtana. The plan is to use our lapbooks in lieu of haggadot. How did you decide what goes on your lapbook and what doesn't?

  2. The stuff I forgot to go in didn't go in! Major things I've omitted so far include PLAGUES... hmm... also nothing about the songs afterwards... nothing about what is chometz or not. It's definitely incomplete, but we're having fun!

  3. Have you seen the "Makkos Booklet" at I downloaded it in case we run short on time and the kids can't draw their own makkot. I think it's file O_1243.

    BTW... this is Zeph. I *thought* it was you! Great blog!


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