Passover is my favorite Jewish holiday, and even as a child, I loved the ritual and storytelling of the Seder.
Now, as a parent, I enjoy witnessing my own kids share in these traditions. However, I realize they (and frankly many grownups), may have trouble engaging in the Passover Seder. And, if your Seders tend to run on the longer side, they can be very overwhelming for little ones.
However, with some preparation and creativity, you can help make the Seder a wonderful experience for guests of all ages.
Be Clear About What Will Happen
The Passover Haggadah is pretty great in that it tells you right in the beginning exactly what goes down in the Seder. If you’re anything like me, you’ve counted the steps until “Shulchan Orech,” or the actual dinner portion of the Seder. Children do better when they know what’s coming,so leading up to the holiday, you may find it helpful to walk them through what to expect at the Seder. This could mean reminding them that they won’t be eating dinner until later than normal, so they may want to have a small snack before the Seder begins.
If you know your children may not be able to stay up for the full Seder, consider planning for a specific time when you or another adult will put them to bed. Because kids are terrible with time, this could be marked by a point in the Seder, such as right after the Afikomen is found.
Bring Some Fun And Games To The Seder
From the time I was very little, my dad would break up the Seder by asking “trivia” questions about Passover as well as some general knowledge questions, to be sure everyone at the table felt included. My siblings and I joke about how our dad has been asking many of the same ones for the past 30 years, but we still love it.
If trivia isn’t your “thing,” or if you want to add even more fun to the Seder, check out this Passover card game from PJ Library. Fun for Seder guests of all ages, this printable game includes a variety of cards with prompts to encourage lively discussion and activities to keep antsy little ones engaged.
Include The Kids As Much As Possible
When it comes to children at the Seder, we tend to think about the youngest reading “The Four Questions,” or all the kids scrambling to find the Afikomen. However, depending on their age/developmental abilities, kids can participate more throughout the night.
Older kids, can read parts of the Haggadah (in English or Hebrew, if they’re comfortable), while younger ones can help “announce” what’s coming next. Even toddlers and preschoolers can participate by helping to bring items to the table, such as “props” to demonstrate the ten plagues.
Go With The Flow
I know, Seder, means “order,” and there’s only so much room for deviation, but as any parent knows, kids often mean having to adjust our plans. If you’re doing your Seder with just your household, and you have very young children, you may need to cut things short, or do an abridged version of the Haggadah. PJ Library has a wonderful, family-friendly Haggadah you can download here.
Check Out PJ Library’s Passover Hub
PJ Library is a wonderful source for books, games, videos and more to help you make the most out of your family’s Passover celebration. In the PJ Library Passover Hub, you will find everything from instructions on how to make your own Seder plate, to a step-by-step video guide on how to run a Seder.
While you are browsing PJ Library’s vast selection of Passover content, be sure to enroll your child(ren) in the program’s free, monthly subscription service that provides age-appropriate Jewish-themed books and more.
Disclaimer: As a PJ Library influencer, I am compensated for promoting this program. All opinions expressed are my own.