The Before-Bedtime Seder: A Short but Meaningful Celebration For The Littlest Attendees

Will you have a number of attendees with early bedtimes (and short attention spans) at your seder this year? Never fear, PJ Library has created this engaging, memorable, and adorable seder for gatherings that may include some attendees who need to get to bed before the grown-ups sing "L'Shana Haba'ah." Use the playlist of videos below to guide your family -- these can be viewed on their own or in conjunction with the abbreviated PJ Library Family Haggadah

This short seder is perfect for those hosting on their own for the first time, welcoming guests with babies and toddlers, or those who want to do something simple at home before joining in with a larger event. 

Related:  Step-by-Step Seder Videos

Kadesh, First Blessing Over Wine or Grape Juice

We start the seder by raising our cup of wine or grape juice and saying a blessing before we drink it. The first cup is called Kadesh, which means "make it holy" or "make it special" in Hebrew.

Yachatz, Breaking Off the Dessert Matzah

The seder table has a ceremonial plate with three pieces of matzah. The middle matzah on this plate has a special job. Half of it, the afikoman, will “hide” and come back later as the last bite of our meal. Yachatz (yah-CHATZ) means “split in two.” 

Ma Nishtana, The Four Questions

Traditionally, the youngest person or people at the table get  to ask the Four Questions.
These questions are introduced with the Hebrew phrase  Ma Nishtana (MAH neesh-tah-NAH), which means “What is different?” 

The Passover Story

On Passover, we encourage everyone to talk about this story — the more, the better! 

The Ten Plagues

On Passover, we are grateful that extraordinary things happened to help us go free. But we’re also sad that other people suffered while we were saved. When we remember the Ten Plagues, we dip a pinky finger into our cup of wine or grape juice and take one drop out for each plague. We’re still joyful, but our cup of joy is not quite as full.

Dayenu, More Than Enough For Us

Dayenu (die-AY-new) means “It is more than enough for us!” God has given the Jewish people so many gifts — and even just one of them would have been enough for us to feel grateful and happy.

Tzafun, Finding And Eating the Dessert Matzah

At the start of this seder, the adults hid the Afikoman. The meal cannot finish without this very unusual dessert – a last taste of matzah. The children have to find the Afikoman and make a deal with the adults to return the missing Afikoman. Remember, there is a prize for returning it! The return of the Afikoman from its hiding spot means we are ready to finish our meal.

Chad Gadya, Just One Little Goat

The Haggadah has one last song. It’s also a game: a long chase, with one verse after another describing someone chased by someone else stronger, until in the end only God’s power remains.

Looking for the complete PJ Library Haggadah? Our full PDF offers even more songs, activities, and blessings.


Full Playlist Of Haggadah Companion Videos
Getting Kids Involved During Passover
Teaching Kids to Say the Four Questions
What Happens At a Seder?