Engaging Young Children at Seder

(excerpted from pjlibrary.org)

The Passover Seder is one Jewish ritual that can be adapted for participants of any age. This is true even for families with small children. By hosting a lively — even theatrical — Seder, parents can engage their children for a more meaningful holiday.

This Passover, consider building upon one of the ideas below. We hope your family will benefit from an interactive, age-appropriate seder experience.

All scripts, games, and puppets referenced can be downloaded by clicking their specific headers (underlined and in green).


 

ACT IT OUT
Bring the telling of the Passover story section of the Seder to life. During the “maggid,” perform something more dramatic than the typical reading. Here are three inspirational scripts worth a look:

An Interactive Script
Shira Kline (of ShirLaLa Jewish children’s music fame) offers this “Interactive Script to Re-Tell the Story of Passover.” 

A Seder for Young Children
ReformJudaism.org offers this script specifically for families with children ages 4–5. “Passover is the perfect holiday to explore with 4-and 5-year-olds,” the blog post explains.

Seder Time  & The Courage of Nachson
Two little skits, written by Jewish educators Stan Beiner and Meredith Shaw Patera.


 

USE PUPPETS
Who doesn’t love a puppet? Get three-dimensional with some interactive props. Here are a couple starting points:

Printable Passover Scene
Put together paper puppets to act out scenes during your seder.

Passover Finger Puppets
PJ Library author and illustrator Ann Koffsky offers free printable, colorable finger puppet character templates for your family’s use during a child-friendly seder.

Passover Puppet Haggadah
With a simple email signup, you too can receive a PDF with directions and templates for making brown-bag people. 


 

PLAY DRAMATIC GAMES
Children learn through play. So, why not incorporate a game or two into the Passover seder?

Bingo, Bags, and More
Rabbi Jason Miller introduces a number of child-friendly Passover games and activities in his Huffington Post blogpost, “Innovative and Fun Passover Seder Ideas.” 

Word Puzzles, Bingo, and More
Behrman House doesn’t just offer skits (see above), it also offers a number of fun seder activities, including “Seder Bingo” and “Seder Lingo” games. See behrmanhouse.com