Seder Fun 101

April 21, 2024

By Rabbi Ariel Platt, Director of J Life

My favorite part of Passover is the Seder. Reflecting back, so many of my favorite holiday memories took place during seder. Every year my cousin would transform her basement into a bedouin tent just for seder, give all the kids important roles, and create her own Haggadah. My mom would put plagues all over the table, I even had my favorite bug. As I got older and led the seder myself, I enjoyed creating my own supplements filled with discussion questions, and games. The Seder holds the power to spark curiosity and imagination, which is the best way to learn, and pass down traditions.

Here are some fun ways to personalize your seder and make it special for your family:

  1. Find a Haggadah or a few that fits your family. Even create one of your own. There is not a one size fits all Haggadah, especially as your family evolves over time. I recommend finding a base or an outline, and filling in with different supplements. PJ library has a lot of great offerings, as well as the Jewish Grandparents network, Jewbelong, and many more.
  2. Gamify your seder. To keep your guests on their toes add some fun games to your seder. One year before I got to the Maggid/Story section of the seder I had people pull out random objects I had in a bag. Then they had to find ways to incorporate them into the story. Somehow I was able to convince my family that Moses had a monkey when I pulled a stuffed monkey out of the bag. PJ library has some fun game cards you can download to use for your seder. You can also thematize games like Reverse Charades, or Truth or Dare around Passover.
  3. Kid fun bags. To help keep the kids entertained throughout the seder you can also make personalized kid fun bags for each kid coming to the seder. The idea is to fill it with toys they like legos, a stuffed animal, stickers, etc. You could even have them build different Passover themed legos throughout the seder, like build a pyramid, or a frog.
  4. Passover themed toys either on the table or a separate section on the floor near the table. Every year my mom would take out her box filled with different toys that represent the plagues and put them all over the table. One year she even put tadpoles in vases on the table. To add to this idea you could also put toy seder plates on the table. All of these are very easy to find on Amazon. If you don’t want to put all of this on the table, you can create a separate section on the floor or on another table for the kids to play with.
  5. Assign roles and ask questions before the seder, so participants are prepared. One way to keep all participants, including young children actively engaged in the seder is to assign your family and your guest roles ahead of time, and have them put their own spin on it. For example you can ask your kids to act out the plagues, wear masks, make puppets, or even find the plague on the table and hold it up when it’s called. Since the seder is also about asking questions, it is nice to interject your own throughout the seder. For example, when you get to the four questions, you could ask each of your guests, “what fifth question would you ask?” Or when looking at the seder plate, you could ask your guests, “what would you add and what would it represent?” Just don’t forget to tell everyone ahead of time.

Whatever fun seder traditions your family has, there is always room to explore and add more. May your seder this year be full of family, friends, and a magical mixture of tradition and imagination. 

Chag Sameach! Happy Passover!

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