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Making Your Seder More Kid Friendly
By ISJL Education Fellow Hannah Klegon
It’s that time of year—we need to gear up for our Passover seders. It is a family gathering that is full of celebration, eating, and conversing. Adults usually find the Passover seder both meaningful and joyful. From singing songs to drinking wine and to eating food, it is an occasion that most grown-ups look forward to each year.
But what about the children?
Not all seders are designed to keep them engaged and excited for hours on end. Here are some ideas to make your seder more kid-friendly!
Using their Senses
Our littlest ones probably won’t understand the deeper meaning of the Passover seder until later in their life. They are probably looking around wondering, “why are all these people gathered around a long table in my living room?” But we can still help them get something out of the experience! An excellent idea for getting them involved is to have them utilize all their senses. Senses enhance memory, so if they remember what something smelled liked, tasted like, and felt like, they will be more likely to remember previous years’ experiences. Sure, have children taste the salt water, feel the matzah, and smell the parsley. But you can even design more features for the rest of the seder. For example,let them squish something to replicate the mud that the Israelites crossed through when the seas parted, and have them wear sunglasses when the plague of darkness hits.
As the seder progresses, have the kids create something. For example, you could give the kids a “DIY Haggadah,” where throughout the seder, they color, add stickers, or add their own flair to the Haggadah. You could do the same with a “DIY Seder Plate,” giving them art supplies to create their own seder plate as we go through the real seder plate.
Get up and Move!
To get the older kids more involved in the seder, try to add games to mix up the usual seder! Here is a great Apples to Apples: Passover Edition, which can be fun for people of all ages! Mix up the teams, connecting kids with adults, and let the good times roll. Another activity to get everyone active is to do some Ten Plagues Yoga. Before all that food, some stretching is helpful for the body. Designate someone to lead some Ten Plagues Yoga. If space allows, you could create a short Ten Plagues Relay Race for the kids. They could transfer ‘blood’ (water with red food coloring) with only a spoon from one cup to another; they could play leapfrog to represent the frogs; and, they could play a round of telephone to describe the loud locusts!
Give the older kids at the table a challenge during the seder. Instruct them to create a short song parody about the Passover story or about the seder. If you give them the challenge at the beginning of the evening, they can spend the seder creating their song, and then present it to the rest of the table toward the end! To make it trickier, give them guidelines on what the song you would like them to parody. Make sure it’s something sing-able, like a famous Disney tune or current pop hit.