Tips for a Child-Friendly Passover Seder
The Passover Seder is by Biblical definition a family event. Yet because of it’s structured nature, we often view the Seder as a solemn and formal occasion, i.e. not kid-friendly. When God is giving Moses and the children of Israel his instructions for celebrating Passover he first explains all the various elements and requirements. Then the LORD says, “And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” At this first Passover and in the times since that, the focus of the Seder is to remember our deliverance at the hand of God and to share that with the younger generations.
In your home or with a small gathering it is easier to tailor your schedule and activities to the younger crowd. But in a larger or more formal setting, young children can quickly become restless. So here are a few suggestions and tips to help you plan for the Seder and to make your experience more enjoyable for both you and your children.
* Dinner is not served until later in the Seder. Feed your children something before you arrive. Bring a snack and/or a drink for your little ones to tide them over until the dinner.
* Highchairs will not be provided. If your child needs special seating, please plan to bring it.
* Bring a quiet activity…a coloring book, a small toy, a children’s Bible or storybook…to help keep little hands and minds busy during the teaching parts of the Seder
* Talk/read about Egypt, the plagues, the Exodus, or the Last Supper in the days leading up to the Seder…use crafts, stories or activities to help your child get excited about Passover. You could play charades, bake Matzah, watch “Prince of Egypt” or another Bible movie, do a Passover treasure hunt using small toys to represent the parts of the story, build a Lego pyramid, or play pin the plague on Pharoah.