We all look forward to holidays but no doubt they can be stressful – all the prep, logistics, family time, etc. (never mind a global pandemic). But something I’m sure we can all agree on is that kids remember holidays (think back to your childhood) so I personally look forward to making holidays special for my kids.
Let me warn you that I am not a crafty, Pinterest mom (quite the opposite actually and jealous of those that are) but here are a few things I’m doing to celebrate Passover with my kids:
Tell the Story:
Passover commemorates the story of the ancient Israelites being freed in Egypt and how they begin their journey to freedom. It’s an exciting, heartrending story complete with plagues and blood and death — but skip the scary details for now and stick with an easy-to-understand one-sentence statement: “On Passover, we celebrate how God helped the Jewish people become free.” And why can't you eat that bagel on Passover – after the Israelites left Egypt, they didn’t have enough time to let their bread rise, so they brought their unleavened bread and that is why we eat Matzah!
Some favorite books to tell the story are:
Baby Moses in a Basket: This is my kids favorite! We get a big “Moses Basket” and the kids take turns putting their dolls in it – we pretend it’s baby Moses floating in the river Nile. We don’t really get into details, but we sing the song:
Where is baby Moses, Moses, Moses? Where is baby Moses? He’s in the River Nile.
He is in a basket, a basket, a basket. He is in a basket in the River Nile.
The princess she is swimming, swimming, swimming. The princess she is swimming, in the River Nile.
She finds the baby Moses, Moses, Moses. She finds the baby Moses, Moses, Moses In the River Nile.
Cleaning the Chametz:
On Passover, we get rid of all of the “Chametz” (i.e. non-kosher food in our home). We have the kids help us, by collecting the Chametz – figuring out what we throw away, donate or store in the basement. We make it a game and we have prizes.
Elijah’s cup is an important part of Passover Seder. Every year, Elijah the Prophet is invited to the Seder meal. A place is set at the table for Elijah, and we pour a cup of wine in his honor. We decided it would be fun to create a beautiful, crafty wine goblet for Elijah– a craft that children can participate in. While you wrap the colorful string, let little fingers help and tell your children the story of Elijah!
Tory Avey does a nice job explaining this activity, here:
What you Need:
- natural jute or wool string in several colors
- a paint brush
- an inexpensive wine glass or goblet (I bought the one pictured at a thrift store for 99 cents)
- white craft glue or Mod Podge, and a receptacle for holding the glue
- gems or sequins for decorating the cup (optional)
- damp paper towels or wipes for cleaning up sticky fingers
One of my favorite childhood memories is finding the Afikomen (a large piece of Matzah that’s hidden during the seder). In my family, kids look for the Afikomen and get a prize. In my husband’s family, it’s the opposite and the kids hide it and the elders look for it. No matter what your tradition is, making your own Afikomen is easy and fun.
Check out Our Happy Tribe for directions on making your own bag. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 - 9” x 12” piece of felt
- Decorations (fabric pieces, sequins, gems, lace, shaped flowers, pom poms, and felt stickers)
Passover Table Place cards: This one is easy-peasy and requires no art skills whatsoever. Even if you aren’t having extended family this year, you can still make place cards for whomever will be at the table (even little furry friends). Simply cut small pieces of paper, fold them in half and have the kids write the names (or color) and let them help you set the table!