Seder stress is real, people. Whether you are hosting a seder at home or going to friends or family, we bet you are just a tiny bit worried about what to do with the kids. Yeah. We are, too. So we asked a group of Kveller mamas for their best tips for seder survival. Here they are:
1. Set the scene. Decorate the room with blue streamers and fish cut-outs to mimic crossing the Red Sea. Scatter jumping frogs across the table, or use Lego minifigures. Invite everyone’s favorite stuffed animals to the seder to play the role of the wild beasts in the 10 plagues.
2. Keep them busy. Print out Passover coloring pages and put out crayons (washable!) and stickers. Older kids can make place cards for each guest.
3. Avoid hunger-related meltdowns. Feed the kids first.
4. Embrace the dip. Kids love dipping things, but parsley in salt water? Meh. After the first salt water dip, put out a platter of crunchy veggies and dips to keep the kids (and grown-ups) happy. Pro tip: Guacamole is 100% Passover-friendly; so is salsa.
5. Add games. Play seder bingo. Use mini-marshmallows as your bingo chips. Create a scavenger hunt to find the afikomen.
6. Pajama seder. Whether you start your seder early or after sundown, everyone is tired after four cups of wine. Have everyone (or just the kids) rock their favorite PJs and make post-seder (or mid-seder) bedtime a tiny bit easier.
7. Simplify dessert. Serve fondue with fresh fruit (again with the dipping!) and smother the afikomen in chocolate. And everyone loves matzah toffee, a.k.a. matzah crack.
8. Sing songs. Any Passover songs—from silly to traditional. If the kids know songs from preschool, let them lead the singing. Click here for some Kveller favorites.
9. Be mindful of attention spans. Although the novelty of the seder may help, a kid who generally sits at the table for a maximum of 10-15 minutes (if that!) isn’t going to magically develop the ability to sit at the table for two hours. If you are hosting the seder, set up a quiet play area adjacent to the seder table (if possible). If you are a guest, bring along some quiet toys, books, puzzles, or other activities.