The parsha begins with Jacob's famous dream of angels ascending and descending on a ladder between the heavens and the earth. Of course, this image has great craft potential. I considered making a Jacob's ladder folk toy or other ladder projects. But, the truth is that I didn't want to have to talk about angels! Maya would inevitably ask me if angels are real or pretend and well...I dunno! So, I decided to focus on the expanding family of Jacob and Rachel since I knew that I wanted them to learn about the twelve sons/brothers/tribes. I thought about making a family tree but realized that that is a pretty advanced concept. So, we made paper chain dolls. I used white cardstock and cut out thirteen dolls (one for Dina).
I wanted the girls to be able to dress the dolls with shoes, hair, and clothes. I finally found paper doll clothes that looked biblical. Where? Nativity scene dolls. This was actually pretty funny since every time Maya sees a nativity scene (surprisingly often), she says "look, Imma, Israelis!" I guess it is the sandals and headpieces. All I know is that I think that it is hysterical. And this website had PERFECT clothing that I printed out and cut out for the girls to use to dress their dolls - canes, sandals, headdresses, etc.
Which brings me to an interesting point. Alot of the good bible craft ideas that I am finding out there are from Christian sources - Sunday schools, churches, religious moms. It reminds me of when I used to teach Tanach classes and often found great helpful material on-line from non-Jewish sources. I've never felt completely comfortable using non-Jewish Bible materials; it somehow feels wrong, like stealing. But, if they've got a good outline of the book of Joshua, a good map of the Mesopotamia, or a good craft of Joseph's coat...???
The girls enjoyed dressing the dolls in their biblical garb. We learned the names of all of the children and hung them up.