October 13, 2019

Raise a Tambourine for the Song of the Sea at Passover

In last week’s Jewish Journal, I showed how to make placemats for Passover depicting the parting of the Red Sea. The follow-up to that craft activity is inspired by what happened after the waters parted and the Israelites made safe passage out of Egypt — Miriam’s musical celebration, in which she lifted her tambourine and led the people in the Song of the Sea. 

Making your own tambourine for Passover is easy. Since the tambourine is made with paper plates, I decided it would be appropriate to adorn it with the six symbolic foods of the seder plate. This creates a great opportunity to teach kids about the seder plate and what each of the elements mean.

What you’ll need:
Two paper plates
Acrylic paint
Colored markers
Graphic icons of seder plate foods (downloadable here)
Hole punch
Jingle bells
String or yarn


1. You’ll need two paper plates per tambourine. I recommend small, 7-inch paper plates as opposed to the larger ones, as they are easier to work with. (And they’re great for little hands.) The back side of a paper plate is usually white, so paint your plates in the color of your choice.


2. Draw designs on the painted side with colored markers. Have fun with the doodles. If you want to add the seder plate icons like I did, download and print them. After cutting them out, glue them to the plates.


3. Line up the two paper plates so that the painted sides are facing out. Punch six holes that are evenly spaced around the rim of the plates, punching through both plates at the same time so the holes will be aligned.


4. Thread string or yarn through the shank of a bell and tie the string around the aligned punched holes. The string not only attaches the bell, it secures the two plates together. If you’re using colored yarn, leave the ends long and loose for an extra decorative accent. Repeat for all the bells.

Jonathan Fong is the author of “Flowers That Wow” and “Parties That Wow,” and host of “Style With a Smile” on YouTube. You can see more of his do-it-yourself projects at jonathanfongstyle.com.