At its core, the Passover Seder is a time to gather with friends and family, eat holiday foods and tell the Passover story. We've gathered some of our favorite tips and products to help you bring your big kid — happily! — to your Passover table and to help the entire family tell the Passover story with ease and fun.
Telling the story
Every Seder is led by a haggadah, a small book explaining the Passover story, blessings, songs and rituals of the festive meal. So picking the right haggadah for you and your family is your first important Seder planning job.
- If your children are little, we love the 30 Minute Seder: The Haggadah That Blends Brevity With Tradition for its modern feel, the way it covers the high points and, of course, its minimalist approach.
- As your kids get older, consider trying A Family Haggadah: A Seder Service for All Ages. Slightly more in depth, this well-organized, easy to follow version is geared toward a family Seder.
- If your family is trying a more traditional Seder, The Passover Haggadah is a translation of a traditional haggadah that takes the Seder step-by-step, and offers Hebrew, English and transliteration along the way.
Tip^ Once you've picked your haggadah, consider handing it over to your children for a few days. Looking through the pages and familiarizing themselves with the Seder you'll be having, will make them more comfortable participating the day of the Seder.
A big part of Passover is asking questions. Consider placing a simple question jar and pens and paper on your table. This can be a place for children — and adults — to ask their questions throughout the Seder. We also love Melissa & Doug's version, A Passover Box of Questions. This pretty box is filled with 82 Passover conversation starters.
Make time during your Seder to ask and answer questions and to start a great conversation around your table. These two simple ways of getting everyone talking will keep your newest and most experienced Seder goers engaged at your Seder.
The ten plagues
Covering the ten plagues catches everyone's attention. Capitalize on this interesting tidbit with fun storytelling props.
For the younger crowd, we love Rite-Lite's Plush Passover Finger Puppets. Easy and fun to use, your littlest guests will enjoy learning about the ten plagues in this unique, visual way.
Older children will love using the Passover Bag of Plagues. These fun visuals will not only help your big kids understand the plagues, but will allow them the opportunity to lead and to teach, and have a great time doing both.
TIPS^ Decide whether you'd like each child to have their own set of finger puppets or bag of plagues or if you'd rather children share, in which case they should sit together. Also consider whether you'd prefer your kids to play with these props before the Seder to get some of the exploring out of the way, or if you'd rather the toys be new to the kids at the Seder.
We'd like our kids to savor every moment of the Seder. But depending on its length, they may need a quiet activity to keep them busy for part of the time. We love these Passover Coloring Placemats that offer kids a calm, Passover-themed distraction. If you're using a shortened version of the Seder, consider letting your kids decorate these beforehand, gifting you valuable cooking time and them a fun Passover project to do.
Cooks in the kitchen
Kids will feel invested in what they help prepare. Invite your best helpers into the kitchen to help make Passover fare such as homemade matzo, haroset, matzo crack or matzo cake. Your big kids will also love being part of creating the Seder plate. Give your littlest chefs credit during the Seder meal.
Keep it playful
We want our children to have wonderful Passover memories. The happier they are, the better they'll learn, the more they'll remember and the more likely they'll be to continue these traditions. Consider keeping your Seder family-friendly by allowing your children to:
- Put on their own Passover play
- Build pyramids out of blocks or sugar cubes
- Dress the part with Passover-inspired costumes
- Take reclining to a new level by having your Seder picnic-style