Make Your Kids the Star of the Seder

Posted on March 30, 2015

         “Why is this blog post different from all other blog posts?

Okay, so that’s not exactly the question children around the world will be asking Friday night as they sit around their seder table eating matzoh, maror and other chametz-free treats.

The Passover seder begins with the youngest child asking 4 key questions that set the stage for telling the story of how the Jews were freed from Egypt. Allowing children to kick off the seder offers them a great deal of power. Through the 4 questions, the children not only set the tone for the reading of the Hagaddah, but are actively engaging all those who are sitting around the table.

As the seder continues, so should the empowerment of the children. How can we encourage our kids to ask questions, offer insights and feel deeply connected to the Passover story?

Here are some ideas as to how to keep your kids engaged, entertained and empowered during the Passover Seder.
Put Your Kids in the Spotlight: From year to year, kids have complete ownership over the 4 questions.  But how about giving them another speaking role to keep them engaged and invested? Have your kids sing or act our different parts of the story to encourage participation and add some entertainment to the night!
      Ideas: Have children read and act out the section of the four sons, march around the table as slaves/Egyptians during “Avadim Hayinu”, or act as the various animals in “Chad Gadya.”
“I spy with my little eye something on the seder plate…”
      Game Leader:To keep kids entertained throughout the seder, it’s great to create a Passover themed game that will keep kids excited and alert. Have your kids create a bingo board for everyone at the Passover table. Each bingo board can be filled with words mentioned in the Hagaddah or popular Passover foods. Have one kid be the “bingo judge” who is responsible for checking if everyone filled out their board correctly. For fun bingo pieces use pieces of chocolate, soup nuts, gummies or if you’re feeling dangerous…maror

Not a bingo person? Between each section of the seder, play a game of I Spy. Instead of using colors (“I spy with my little eye something blue…”), have your kids give a Passover related clue. Example:  “I spy with my little eye something that we dip” or “I spy with my little eye something that comes in ‘fours’.” This will add a new dimension of fun to your seder and have your children think critically about the various items at the seder table.

      Appoint a Job:Keep your children engaged throughout the seder by giving them a set role. Appoint your child as the designated grape juice pourer, Eliyahu-door-opener, Matzah breaker or tune-chooser! This will cause your child to be on high alert throughout the seder and will make them feel like a crucial part of the seder. Giving your child a set job will in turn give them a lot of attention and responsibility.

Time to spice up this Hagaddah!
Hagaddah With Flair:Tired of that boring brown and yellow hagaddah? It’s time to spice up your Hagaddah and make it something that your kids won’t want to take their eyes off of. Grab a plain Hagaddah and have kids decorate it with their own ideas of what each of the plagues, characters and miracles looked like. How many frogs were really  in Pharoah’s bed? Was the splitting of the sea 2 walls of water or a series of columns? What was Moshe wearing when he took the Jews out of slavery? Letting a child’s imagination run wild is a very empowering thing!

Make it Short and Sweet: Sometimes, it’s only a matter of time before the little ones fall asleep on the couch or on Uncle Judah’s lap. Before the “zzzz”’s arrive, let your children get the whole seder experience with a 10-minute Passover play that gives a condensed version of the entire seder. Let your kids choose their favorite songs, foods and stories and create a mini-seder that will make them feel like they’re not missing a thing!

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