It is time to begin planning for Passover (yes, I know Purim is barely over). The rush to the stores for favorite items will soon begin, if it hasn’t started already. We start gathering kosher for Pesach Diet Coke (a real essential in my family) the minute it hits the stores. The cleaning probably won’t start for a while, although much of it is last-minute.
Begin now to plan your Seder so that the learning experience and meaningful memories happen for all ages. For instances, are you going to just bring out the same Haggadah as last year? Have you been looking for the Maxwell House Haggadah at the store, or are you going to try something new? There are so many options for Haggadot, it is a challenge to find the best one for your family. This year, search the internet. Haggadot are for sale and are available for download.
For those not as observant, there is a Haggadah that can be projected on a screen from your computer. It’s important, however, to remember that we are “people of the book” and “people of the questions” (and lots of talking). Perhaps bring out different Haggadot, and encourage people to read from their favorites, as you follow the order of the Seder.
It is also important is to involve children in the questions and answers; the Four Questions are not the only ones for children to ask. Encourage them to come up with good ones. Also, balance is important, yet can be a challenge. Bags with toys for each of the plagues are fun. But how do we teach our children that the plagues were bad, without scaring them?
Finally, preparing for your Seder with young children requires lots of planning, but don’t forget to plan for the adults; the Seder should be meaningful for all ages.
Finally, don’t forget that Passover is not over with the seder. Keeping Passover in the traditional way is not something every family does, but it is a wonderful learning experience for young children. Start small by just eliminating bread and eating matzo for the week.
With kosher for Pesach innovations, you can have almost everything now — from rolls, to cereal, to tacos. It’s a good idea to discuss Passover, and how to make it meaningful to your family.
Laura Seymour is director of camping services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center.