The Passover seder(s) are a very special time. It is where we remember the miracles Hashem did for us when he took us out of Egypt, and when we pass down the knowledge to our kids. This is a major memory making event for us!
What kind of memories do you want the kids to have? It’s a good question to ask as you’re planning. I want the kids to remember being involved in making the seder, in planning it, in preparing for it, and in participating in it. We make it “our” seder that we’ve all worked toward. And that takes preparation on the adults’ parts!
It means you have to be available in the weeks leading up to Passover to prepare the kids, and on the day of to help them set up and prepare their contributions. It means you have to complete your tasks with time to spare – time for the kids. It may not be the most efficient use of your time, but the kids will remember it.
Here are some ideas to help make the seder fun for kids. I’ve compiled them from real life, friends and family, websites, chat room boards, and more. Please add yours in the comments and I’ll put them in, too!
Leading up to Passover…
- make your own haggada with the kids – works especially well for young kids (bli neder, I will post some of our previous years’ productions)
- practice a Passover play complete with costumes – to be performed at the seder if that would be fun!
- Find blue blankets or big blue paper and “walk” through the red sea – we sometimes use a big roll of blue paper and decorate it with fish and other sea things.
- involve the kids in the prep – can they clean their rooms, wipe down cupboards, help with shopping or menu planning (with whatever level of supervision you deem necessary)
- practice singing the 4 questions with them, and make visual aids or props (we use a notecard with the main idea on each to help remember the order – it’s different for different minhags!)
- do some Pesach projects for kids – and show them off at the seder. Kids love to make a pillowcase for the pillows, or a seder plate, or a stage to act out the crossing the red sea with little people!
At the seder and just before…
- My two older boys (8 and 6) make their own version of haroset, which which they are excited to give people to eat. They also like to fold fancy napkins for everyone and make name tags for the seats.
- My little kids help mix up salt water and help count out romaine, and they do other things like help choose the matzot and set out pillows for everyone. There are lots of opportunities to help!
- Take a picture of the table and everyone in their finery for your scrapbook or to send out to family.
- We do the plagues with some props. You can make something homemade or buy a bag o’ plagues set or finger puppets.
- How about making something fun for the seders, like these marshmallow frogs!
- We reward questions (and answers) with mini marshmallows, tickets toward a prize (either a set one or something they can buy on chol hamoed), or a puzzle piece for a puzzle we all try to put together before the end of the seder – depends on the year and ages. Find a great list of questions here or more difficult ones here.
- Maybe you can do Pesach bingo – cover each item when it’s mentioned. Here’s a link to a Hebrew Bingo card or check out these bingo card sets – with 30 bingo cards and a total of 60 different pictures (in English).
- We renact the crossing of the red sea with costumes and blue blankets or paper they’ve decorated. My kids also like to do the play they’ve been practicing for weeks…and we (the audience) pretend it’s brand new!
- We share different haggadot and the different pictures or questions. The Katz Haggadah is particularly beautiful to look at, but we also have other children’s haggadot.
There are a lot of different ideas at this site, including printable resources for you to use.
How do you make the seder fun for kids? Please add your ideas and/or links in the comments and I’ll put them here as well.