Seder is often a balancing act. You’re trying to keep your kids engaged while moving the seder along at a pace that even bubby would approve of. Try adding some of these great Seder props to your table. These are simple and cute ways to get your kids excited about the seder.
1. Wild Animals. They are great to scatter on your Pesach table. Wild animals will keep younger kids entertained and will serve as a useful tool when talking about the Ten Plagues.
2. Assorted Frogs. I am still a little perplexed by the mad love people have for frogs. You can find plastic frogs, chocolate frogs, actual frogs (not recommended). This year I think we have marshmallow-stuffed chocolate frogs. They’re everyone. Much like in Pharoah’s times. Add a few on your table before seder or toss them out during the Ten Plagues. A great boredom buster.
3. Fresh-cut vegetables. Your seder is only as successful as your most hungry child. Make sure that there is food within reach for the little ones.
4. Place cards. Family dynamic + 4 cups of wine = recipe for disaster. Give some thought as to who should sit where. And then make it so. We use cut out matza paper to let people know where they should sit.
5. Post-its. I make sure that each of my kids has their own Haggadah. Before seder, I’ll go through each Haggadah adding words of encouragement on post-its (you’re doing great. only ten more minutes until dinner! or can’t wait to hear your explanation of the four sons!). It keeps the kids excited and happy to keep turning pages.
6. Lego. I have one kid make at least one centerpiece out of Legos. One year it was Moshe on the nile. Often it is a pyramid or two. It gives your kids something to feel proud of on the Seder table. Also, don’t limit yourself to Lego. We’ve used Playmobil, click-its, straws — whatever your kid loves playing with.
7. All (some?) of their artwork. Remember how your kids have been coming home with zillions of art projects for Pesach? Make sure at least a few of them reach the Seder table. Set them out of the table or hang them up before the seder so your kids see that their contributions are valued.
8. Pyramids. There are so many different ways to make them. Add a couple on to your table to get into the Egyptian state of mind.
9. Assorted Questions. Want to help direct seder conversation? Write a question on the back of each place card and ask people to ask and answer their question at different points throughout the night (i.e. a favorite family Pesach memory? the real hero of the Pesach story? a favorite family dish?)
10. Patience. If you’ve attended one Lamaze class or one yoga class, you’ll remember the benefits of a good deep breath. Seder is a marathon and not a sprint. Set realistic expectations and then take a deep breath. Enjoy the night!