Keeping the kids entertained well past their bedtimes at the Passover seder is no simple task. While you were busy scouring the floors and cleaning out the cupboards, The Jewish Week scoured the Internet for affordable gifts that will keep the tots focused on the story of the Exodus — without leaving you wistfully planning your own. Order some extras — you just may want to “borrow” a few of these masks, finger puppets, and punching bags, too. After all, who says that fun at the seder is just for the kids?
“I’m gonna find it / I’m gonna find it / Gonna find the afikomen.” Add to the excitement of finding the afikomen by reading aloud Rabbi Joe Black’s contagious “Afikomen Mambo” (Kar-Ben Publishing: 2011), a new book that uses rhymes and colorful illustrations to tell a loveable story about children hunting for the afikomen. The book comes with an accompanying CD that encourages you to sing along.
Punch a Pharaoh
When the kids start to get rowdy, encourage them to take turns punching this three-foot inflatable Pharaoh punching bag. Keep it on hand as a post-seder “too-much-family” stress reliever.
Put on a Finger Puppet Show
Distribute a few finger puppets to each child — each depicting one of the Ten Plagues, from lice to blood to locust — and have the kiddies put on a puppet show. Worried they’ll fight over who gets to be the frog puppet? Buy two sets to prevent conflict … or make your own. Another idea: assign each child to recite one of the Four Questions and give him or her a matching finger puppet. The set of four finger puppets — one side features matzah, the other side bread, Maror/Carrot, cushioned chair/hard chair, and karpas/beet — sells for $12.74 at Judaism.com.
Masks aren’t just for Purim. These 10 masks, which depict the plagues, are perfect for the experiential seder you have planned.
Passover Puzzle – Times Two!
This 50-piece puzzle will keep children ages 4 to 10 occupied for a while. Plus, the puzzle is reversible; one side features an illustration of a seder plate and the other depicts an Egyptian Pharaoh. When they finish one side, scramble the pieces and have them put together the puzzle anew.
Bring the Zoo to the Seder
Break out the animal voices as you read S. Daniel Guttman’s “The Passover Zoo Seder” (Pelican Publishing: 2011) in which Shai Elephant and his friends, Horsey, Lion and Baboon come together to celebrate Passover at the zoo. The book, with its fanciful illustrations by Phillip Ratner, is aimed at children ages 4 to 8. Improvise by giving each child an animal-themed mask or puppet (you can buy them or design your own as a crafts project to keep them busy pre-seder) and ask them to sing their “part.” They’ll be captivated until the lion’s last Ma-Roar!
Caps for Sale
Why is this seder night different? Everyone, from infant to zeyde, is wearing a cap. From “Seder Leader” and “Matzah Ball Maven” to “The Wise Son” and “The Wise Daughter,” there’s a cap for every guest. There’s even a “The Wise Guy” hat for your know-it-all cousin.
It’s Passover, Grover
Grover, Anneliese and Avigail track down the missing horseradish, with little help from Oofnik, in this new DVD, one of 12 produced by Shalom Sesame. This DVD will teach the kids about the holiday while you’re in the kitchen preparing for the seder.
Put On Pharoah’s Hat
Act out the Passover story with aplomb, with the help of this gold-and-black Egyptian-style headpiece. It comes in both kid and adult sizes. n