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Holidays Passover

10 Strategies for a Kid-Friendly Seder


During the Passover seder, we learn about the four types of children: the wise, the wicked, the simple, and the one who does not know how to ask. But no one ever mentions the one who simply can’t sit still!

When three or even four generations gather under one roof to sit around one table (or maybe a few tables smushed together) to honor an ancient tradition, it can be a true joy. But while many Jewish adults remember the seders of their youth fondly, they can also recall how endless it seemed when they were young. Most can recall counting the pages in the Haggadah until it was ­finally time for the Passover feast.

Children who are bored can easily become disruptive, so it’s best to have a plan in place to entertain the young people seated around your table(s) this year. But don’t worry! We have you covered – with 10 ways to make your Passover seder both memorable AND kid-friendly.

Fun With Food

Matzah Ball Madness: Who doesn’t love a little competition? Plus, it’s easy to entertain kids in the kitchen when they can roll some sticky matzah balls with their tiny little hands. Find a few different recipes and build some anticipation around a family taste test. Who made it best? Leave Elijah a plate with his wine cup so he can cast the winning vote!

Unleavened … But Decorated: It doesn’t have to be plain just because it hasn’t risen. You won’t need make-your-own sundaes when you can give the kiddos a blank canvas of matzah for a unique and sweet concoction instead. Frosting, chocolate, caramel, fruit and candy. If they get to eat their own creation when it comes to the matzah-eating part of the seder, they’ll definitely have something to look forward to.


DIY Seder Plate: A wonderful activity to keep kids following along is to give them each their own paper plate to work with. As the observance goes along, they can be cued to glue precut pictures of each of the traditional items on a seder plate. Provide stickers, markers, glitter – anything to spark their inner artist and hold their attention!

Plague Puppets: Plagues weren’t designed to be fun, yet they can be the most entertaining part of the seder. Plan ahead and make puppets – fi­nger puppets, sock puppets, popsicle stick puppets, crafter’s choice – one for each of the 10 plagues. Keep the kids guessing which plague is going to pop up next, and you’ll have them laughing from boils to locusts!

Coloring Sheets: This is as simple as it gets. To keep children quietly entertained while the grown-ups debate whether it was actually 50, 200 or 250 plagues that befell Egypt, a coloring book and a 120-count box of Crayola crayons should do the trick. There are scores of free Passover coloring sheets that can be downloaded online. Pick some favorites and print them off to buy some time.

Game Time

Bingo!: Just like it sounds. Create Passover-themed bingo cards with words (or pictures) like matzah, frogs, Moses, etc. Children will be thrilled to hold their own bingo daubers, dabbers or dobbers to try to win and, best of all, they’ll be hanging onto every word to see if it’s on their card.

Charades: Makes a great team challenge! You might have better luck getting young people to sit through the seder if you take a quick break halfway through for a round of charades. Prepare cards ahead of time with words, phrases and people who are represented in the Haggadah and see who can act them out the best.

Jumping Frogs: Part craft, part game – before the seder, designate a guest as the origami master. Their assignment is to help the kids make their very own origami frogs to fi­ddle with during the seder.

­These paper frogs will flip, hop and jump to everyone’s delight, and the kids can even have a contest to see which frog jumps the farthest.

Telling the Story

Children’s Haggadah: Sometimes, it’s to everyone’s benefit to use a child-friendly Haggadah instead of the traditional Maxwell House addition. Today’s Passover market features a myriad of child-friendly versions with simplified stories, pictures that pop up, and flaps that lift. It can be a fun change that even the adults enjoy.

Separate But Equal: If all else fails, maybe the children don’t need to be seated at the kid’s table after all. If those wiggly worms can’t sit still, it might behoove you to set up a storytelling corner with cushions and blankets. Entrust an adult or an older child to read stories and conduct crafts while the seder plays out. ­

There’s no shortage of research showing that children learn best through play. By entertaining all four types of children during the seder in some of these out-of-the-box ways, you’re also helping to strengthen their understanding of its meaning. Win-win!

Finally, we would be remiss if we neglected to mention the most beloved Passover activity treasured by youngsters all over the world. Regardless of how traditional or non-traditional your seder is this year, everyone will perk up and pay attention when the time finally arrives to hunt for the afikomen!

While Jewish families have been celebrating Passover the same way for thousands of years, give yourself permission to change things up this year if it means a better experience for the youngest generation at the table. Just be sure to strike a balance between keeping kids engaged and preserving traditions that have seen our people through many centuries.

Chag sameach!

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