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25 hours may never seem so long! Juggling kids, prayer, and perhaps some self-reflection is pretty close to impossible. Here are some of our tried and true tips to surviving Yom Kippur. Please add your own tips below:


  • Prepared snacks. Have fresh fruit and vegetables pre-cut and waiting in Ziploc containers. You’ll appreciate being able to grab something ready-made as soon as your kids start asking.


  • Puzzles. Yom Kippur at home is a great time to pull out puzzles for kids to play with. We’re looking for quiet activities that do not require a great deal of physical exertion. Puzzles are it.


  • Dining Room Table. Since we’re spending 25 hours not eating, the dining room table becomes a great new play space. Lego and Playmobil are two great activities to move on to your table.


  • Allow meal times to remain consistent. Make sure meals have plenty of kid-friendly foods that will fill up your kids’ bellies for quite some time. You don’t want to be running back to the kitchen each hour to find more food for your kids.


  • Special treats! Buy yourself a few minutes of quiet with a snack that you wouldn’t ordinarily give your kids. Let them indulge.


  • Make sure you hit the library before Yom Kippur. A collection of new books gives your kids something fresh to keep them busy for a few minutes.



  • If you do take your children with you to shul/synagogue, make sure to pack a small bag just for them. Include a book or two, a new small toy (Matchbox Car! Polly Pocket!) and a few snacks.


  • Where’s Waldo is a great book to keep your child entertained while s/he is sitting next to you in services. The longer and more engaging the book, the more time you will have to concentrate on other things.


  • Lower your expectations. Especially on a day like Yom Kippur, it is hard to spend a full day in prayer and be a full-time parent. Getting through the day is an admirable enough goal.