Passover Activities For Kids
Passover is one of the most beloved religious holidays, celebrated by more than 70% of Jewish Americans. The story of Moses provides rich lessons about “standing up for equality, pursuing justice, and standing up for the rights of the marginalized… core Jewish commitments,” as Rabbi Rick Jacobs put it. Children are central to the Passover proceedings as a symbol of the continuity of the Jewish people, but the significance is likely to pass them by if we don’t go out of our way to include them in the family rituals. Incorporate some of these Passover activities to engage the youngest members of the faith.
Passover Pretend Play
- The Big Clean – In preparation for Passover, families keeping Kosher kitchens remove all Chametz. Involve kids in the search party with a scavenger hunt to find hidden cookies under the bed, in pockets, closets, drawers, school bags, and toy chests.
- Plagues – Scatter squishy green frogs or plastic locusts across the table to represent the plagues. Rite Lite Judaica sells Plague Masks that represent terrors like darkness, boils, wild animals, frogs, and cattle plague – or you could just as easily make your own out of construction paper.
- Seder Set – Particularly from ages 3-5, children become fascinated with “playing adult.” KidKraft sells toy versions of the Seder plate, wine goblet, bottle of wine, matzo, afikomen and matzo covers, and a prayer book.
- A Cup For Elijah – Families put out a cup of wine for the prophet Elijah at the Passover Seder. Toward the end of the dinner, they open the door to symbolically “let Elijah in.” For this craft, take a plastic Dollar Store wine goblet, paint a liberal strip of white craft glue around the top, and wrap a colorful piece of wool or jute string around the cup. Alternate with more glue and different colored strings for a rainbow look. Add sequins or gems.
- Red Sea Diorama – The parting of the Red Sea makes for a great mini scene. Upcycle cardboard by cutting it into at least six curvy wave shapes in a variety of sizes, covering them in blue tissue paper. Affix the waves into slits cut into a cardboard base, using glue to secure them. Don’t forget to leave a path down the middle. You can make little people out of corks, dressing them in felt clothes, bottle cap hats, and yarn hair, and drawing faces with black marker.
- Matzo Cover – Use a plain white handkerchief or cut a square out of a choice piece of fancy fabric. Just be sure it’s bigger than a piece of matzo. Decorate the cloth with oversized gems, embroidered grapes or spring flowers, and puffy paint border embellishments. Paint the Hebrew word for Passover to make it extra relevant.
- Shine’s Favorite Jewish Recipes – We’ve rounded up five delicious, easy Jewish recipes to make with kids, including Potato kugel, Soup Dumplings with Minced Brisket, Kookoo-e Sabzi, Braised Short Ribs with Squash Puree and Roasted Corn Salad, Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate and Pistachio.
- Passover Pizzas – What kid doesn’t love pizza? Pre-heat a baking stone at 500 degrees for a half hour. Mix 2 ¼ cups of all-purpose white wheat flour, ½ tsp. sea salt, and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Add ½ cup of water. Form into 12 dough balls and roll on a floured surface until cracker-thin. Prick holes with a fork to prevent bubbling. Cook for one minute per side. Reduce heat to 250 degrees. Top with pizza sauce, mozzarella, and your favorite toppings or seasonings, cooking for 15 minutes more.
- Macaroons – Widely considered thee flourless dessert of Passover, macaroons come in many designs from almond to raspberry, but we like this basic chocolate-dipped coconut recipe. Whisk together 1 large egg white, 2 TBSP honey, ¼ tsp pure vanilla, the grated zest of one lemon, and 1/8 tsp of coarse salt. Stir in 1.5 cups of fine-shredded unsweetened coconut. Make 15 balls with a 1.5” ice cream scoop and bake them on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 12 minutes at 375 degrees, rotating halfway through. Before serving, drizzle with 2 ounces of melted dark chocolate and refrigerate 15 minutes to set.
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate Jewish culture into the lives of your children, ask us about our Vitamin J Jewish art and cultural class for kids of all ages. We explore basic Judaica in a variety of fun, creative ways.
Additional Children’s Passover Resources:
USA Today – Passover Holiday Explained, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/04/22/passover-jewish-holiday-explained/83387514/
Amazon – KidKraft Passover Set, http://amzn.to/2HBNsce
Tori Avey – Elijah’s Cup Craft, https://toriavey.com/home-garden/family-fun-elijahs-cup-passover-craft
Creative Jewish Mom – Splitting of the Red Sea Diorama, http://www.creativejewishmom.com/2010/03/kids-crafts-for-pesach-krias-yam-suf-the-splitting-of-the-red-sea-diorama.html
Cooking with my Kid – Mighty No-Sew Matzah Cover, http://cookingwithmykid.com/2011/04/12/mighty-matzah-cover
Martha Stewart – Coconut Chocolate Macaroons, https://www.marthastewart.com/1098219/coconut-chocolate-macaroons
Disgustingly Good – Matzo Pizza, http://disgustinglygood.com/2012/03/31/matzo-pizza/