Passover is a great opportunity to build new family traditions. Here are some great ways to get small children excited about and involved in the Seder.
The anticipation of a Passover seder can be as much fun as the seder itself. Help your child create invitations (paper or email) to send to guests. Make Passover placemats or place cards for the seder table. Practice the Four Questions. Some children ask the questions in English, others in Hebrew. Some sing them. Some memorize and some read them. Even young children can learn the refrain: “Ma nishtanah halaila hazeh mikol halailot?”
Here are a few more fun things you can do before Passover.
Read A Story
Read a book like Company's Coming or Is It Passover Yet? to kick off a conversation and build excitement about what children can expect.
Check Out Games and Apps
Visit Jewish Interactive to read along and interact with PJ Library books, find Jewish-themed games, and more quality screentime.
Make Afikoman Covers
With a few supplies from around the house, you can create memorable and fun afikoman bags.
Hunt For Chametz
Chametz (a Hebrew word derived from the verb “to sour or ferment”) refers to any food made from wheat, barley, rye, oats, spelt, or their derivatives, which has come in contact with moisture or water and has been allowed to leaven or rise. To commemorate the Jewish slaves’ hasty departure from Egypt when there was no time for bread to rise, families often celebrate Passover by feasting on matzah and removing all types of chametz or leavening from their homes. The Torah instructs "For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses" [Exodus 12:19]. Many people spend the days before Passover removing the physical bread crumbs from their homes.
Go on a "Chametz-hunt" with your family, using flashlights to search for any leftover crumbs or errant boxes of crackers hiding around your home.
At The Seder:
Need a seder perfect for small children to follow along with? Use PJ Library's 15 Minute Seder playlist. If you're hosting a seder for the first time, you can also use the "Step by Step Seder" playlist:
Play With Question Catchers
Encourage the children to ask questions of each other and the adults. Print your own Question Catchers.
Play the Who Knows Passover? Game
Print and cut out the Who Knows Passover? cards and play the game during your seder.
For restless hands, keep blocks like legos or duplo on hand. If children are getting antsy they can build scenes from Exodus, keep their hands occupied, or, as one family suggested, build pyramids to act out the early part of the story.
Hunt for the Afikoman
Find everything you need to maximize your afikoman hiding - and hunting - fun.
Visit the LISTEN page for tons of great family-friendly Jewish audio. You can aso practice and learn music from the Haggadah.
Passover Quick Guide
Teaching Kids to Say the Four Questions
What Happens At a Seder?
February 9, 2021