Allergies are in the air and candy and bunnies are filling up the shelves. Spring is here, and Easter is coming. But there is another holiday on the calendar this month, Passover.
Passover is the Jewish Spring holiday that celebrates the escape and freedom of the Jewish People from Egypt – the story of Exodus. Lasting eight days, Passover starts the evening of April 5th and goes until the evening of April 13th. The first and second nights of Passover, we have a sedar – a festive meal during which we retell the story of Exodos, eat symbolic foods, and sing songs.
Aside from the story of Exodus from Egypt, a main takeaway from Passover is that for the next eight days we cannot eat any chametz (food made from wheat, barley, oats, rye, or spelt). That means no bread, pasta, cookies (and for some even rice and beans).
While the dietary restrictions of Passover do not necessarily make it a fan favorite, there are lots of ways to get your kids involved and excited about the holiday.
Chametz Hunt/Hide and Seek
Chametz is another name for the leavened food that we cannot eat during Passover. Traditionally, you are supposed to clean out your house of any chametz before Passover begins. A chametz hunt or hide and seek involves having your child search for all the items in your house that you cannot eat during Passover and setting them aside. These activities can be a fun way to educate your children about what can and cannot be eaten during Passover while also checking a chore off your to do list.
Decorate Your Own Elijah’s Cup or Affikomen Bag
Art activities are always one for the win at my house. I always love having some of my child’s artwork as part of any celebration. Two activities art activities to do with your children are decorating an Elijah’s cup or a matzah cover (both integral parts of the Passover sedar). Here (Elijah’s Cup Passover Craft for Kids (holidays.net)) and here (Pesach Craft – Kos Shel Eliyahu – Jewish Moms & Crafters (momsandcrafters.com)) are two examples of how to make an Elijah’s cup. And here 9 DIY: Afikomen bag — Our Happy Tribe) is an affikomen bag.
Matzah or Parsley Painting
Matzah and parsley are two items that are present during the sedar. Additionally, both are items you can paint with! Dip the parsley in paint and use it to decorate a piece of paper. Paint on a piece of matzah and then press it down on some paper to make a matzah print.
Make Sedar Fun
Sedar marks the beginning of Passover. Depending on who is hosting, sedar can last anywhere from as little as 10 minutes or be as long as several hours. Getting kids to sit still or be engaged in the sedar is often a big ask.
- What kid doesn’t love stickers? This sticker book (Ella and Noah Celebrate Passover: Sticker Activity Book) is a activity to engage your child in the sedar and teach them about the holiday.
- The reciting of the 10 plagues is always a good time to involve the kids. You can use these finger puppets (Plush Finger Puppet 10 Plagues), masks (Ten Plagues Masks), or make your own!
- Ever since my nephews were little, my parents starting adding Passover jokes into the sedar. It’s a great way to make the sedar fun for everyone!
- Coloring books and placemats are always a great way to keep kids busy. These (Passover Coloring Placemat Kit) or these (Passover 8 Placemats for Coloring Art Project – in BULK as low as $6.95 | Buy at Jewish-Crafts) are great options for ones during sedar for all ages.
Build a Matzah House
Most everyone has heard of a gingerbread house, but what about a matzah house!? This is a fun activity to do especially as the end of Passover nears and you realize you overbought on matzah (even though we all know it’s already hard and stale and can be saved for next year). Check out these (Passover Activity: Build a Matzah House – Kveller ) ideas and supplies for making a matzah house.
Top Chef Matzah Edition
Matzah isn’t the most exciting food. The only way to spice it up is by putting different toppings or spreads on it. Involve the whole family by having a Top Chef Matzah cook-off. Have awards for the best tasting and most creative matzah concoctions.
What are some ways you get your kids excited about and involved in Passover?