The Passover seder is a meaningful and beautiful ancient(ish) Jewish ritual. From telling the story of the Exodus and eating symbolic foods to singing songs, it’s full of opportunities to learn, bond, and grow.
It is also so, so long.
The seder really tests our patience as adults, so it makes sense that our children can’t sit still for the entire reading of the haggadah. I remember so many seders as a child, hungry and grumpy, patiently waiting for the part where we eat while my many younger siblings and cousins wreaked havoc on the poor host’s house. By the time we arrived looking for afikomen, things were positively wild.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! To keep my kids and your kids from going wild, I’ve put together some awesome distractions for kids attending the Passover Seder to keep them busy and most importantly, to keep you sane.
1. Make sure they’re comfortable: We all love an excuse to put on our fanciest outfits: sequins! Custom dresses! Bowtie ! But for children, wearing rigid clothing all night can be an additional source of discomfort. So why not wear comfortable clothes for the seder instead? Our friends at Midrash Manicures have designed Passover matzah pajamas we love (use code Kveller20 for 20% off). Order them before April 12 to receive them in time for the first Seder! You can also give your kids cozy hoodies or pajamas and allow for an outfit change in the middle of the seder if you still want to start fancy.
2. Print Passover coloring pages: Get out those crayons! There is a lot of downloadable coloring pages for Passover on the internet and honestly even my 30 year old self loves having something to color in while I listen to people read the haggadah. There are also these Passover doilies to color which serve a dual purpose.
3. Have a food station: I like the French concept of aperitif — an aperitif or a festive aperitif. Hungry kids are grumpy kids, so serving a little aperitif before the seder can help avoid those seder cranks. Have a station with cut vegetables, cheese if that works for your meal, hummus and matzah chips, or anything else your kids would like to munch on.
4. Host a dance party or physical activity break: Have a dance on a Passover parody or create an obstacle course to cross the Red Sea to help your kids get out some of those shpilkes.
5. Passover bingo or crossword: Are there things that happen at your seder every year? Does someone always spill the wine? Is your uncle making a bad dad joke about Elijah? Create family seder bingo cards to keep things entertaining! You can also print some of these ready to use Passover crossword for older children (or adults).
7. Offer sensory distractions: Since Passover Slime (yes, it’s risky for your kids’ clothes, but yeah, I’m a little obsessed with this matzah pizza slime) for kinetic sand to a box lots of fidget spinnersthere are many ways to provide your children with sensory distractions throughout the night.
8. Create a Crafting Station: There are so many great Passover crafts! Don’t want to get dirty? You can also have a puzzle table – especially useful if you’ve amassed a collection of pandemic puzzles. (Or get a next year in jerusalem passover puzzle).
9. Use a child-friendly haggadah: Switch up your haggadah game this year! Kveller has a family haggadah for curious kids and their parents that’s free to download and also available for purchase on Amazon! We also have a list of other great family haggadahs.
10. Or let the kids skip the haggadah: There’s no shame in focusing on a short story instead! We have created a great printable and child-friendly version of the Passover story for you. You can all read it together, then let your kids go wild – to maybe watch that Passover special “Rugrats” or “The Prince of Egypt” – while you read the haggadah with the adults until at mealtime.
Looking for more seder tips?
4 Tips to Make Your Seder More Fun
The Ultimate Stress-Free Passover Seder Guide
8 Passover activities for your family that everyone will want to do