We wanted to tell the story of the Exodus through a toddler-friendly, hands-on, active experience for our children. Many of my ideas came from biblebeltbalabusca.com. The prep work probably took me about three hours. I wanted to do as much as possible before hand so the story would flow smoothly and quickly (short attention spans!). Here’s what I did:
1. Slavery in Egypt: Make sure the Mega Bloks are in one location for quick access for building.
2. Birth of Moses: Check to make sure we have a blue blanket and a box accessible in the living room.
3. Calling of Moses: Create a “burning bush”. I cut out a cereal box and glued some green tissue paper to it. I also had some red vellum paper from Joann’s that made lovely “tongues of fire” that I cut and taped to the back of the bush and individual tongues of fire to the front of the bush. I had a flashlight on stand-by for some “special lighting effects”.
4. Plagues: I decided to pick and choose on the plagues to represent since some of them are a bit harder to pull off (maybe in the future), so here’s what we chose:
Plague 1 – Water to blood. I used the ol’ “food coloring in the bottom of the glass” trick. My prep work was to put the food coloring vial in the glass so I would have it available to grab.
Plague 2 – Frogs. There are lots of tutorials for folding index cards into frogs online. We folded about 15 and put them in a bag. When the kids are older they can help make these.
Plague 3 – Gnats/Lice. We skipped this one.
Plague 4 – Flies. I twisted a couple of pipe cleaners around a dowel, cut them in two, and added tissue “wings”. Then I tied them to the dowel with a string. All ready to plague my kids!
Plague 5 – Livestock diseased. We skipped this plague. Maybe in the future we could have some stuffed animals get sick.
Plague 6 – Boils. I pulled out some “dot” stickers to have ready.
Plague 7 – Thunder and Hail. We wadded up a lot of paper (filler paper from some online orders we had made earlier) and put it in a box. I’m sure in the future the boys would be happy to help make “hail” with me.
Plague 8 – Locusts. We skipped this one.
Plague 9 – Darkness. Since the kids go to bed early we would need to go into the garage or a closet to achieve some darkness. I decided instead to have a candle and match ready to represent this plague.
Plague 10 – Death of the firstborn. We cut out large patches of butcher paper to put beside our door. I put painter’s tape on the back so it would be ready to quickly slap in place. I also had some red paint, a small paper cup, and a paintbrush ready.
5. Parting of the Sea of Reeds:
Crepe paper across hallway: I’d purchased some crepe paper to hang in our hallway. We have a lovely overhang between our hallway and kitchen that is just perfect for a “wall of water”, so I measured the length and cut pieces of crepe paper to attach to painters tape and hang across the hall. It helped a lot to have some assistance with this so we could roll the crepe paper back and forth to attach it to the tape and cut it at the right length. I then “parted the waters” and used a bit of extra crepe paper to tape it up high since I didn’t want them to play with it until Daddy came home from work the next day and we could tell the story together.
Fish: I printed some fish and colored some of them with my toddler the day before. We didn’t color all of them since there were quite a few. Maybe next year I can start coloring a while before the holiday. I put painter’s tape on the back so I could quickly put them on the wall in the hallway.
Sheet: I had a white sheet ready to put on the floor in the hall for a different textual experience. It felt nice and cool to walk on.
6. Coming to Mt. Sinai: This was the final event of the story and we had some vanilla ice cream (to represent the mountain) and honey (to represent the Torah) on hand.
Ok, ready to go!