In last week’s post, we talked about our #1 way of engaging kids in the Seder with the Passover Seder Steps Follow-Along.
This week, we promised to share another enhancement we have added to our Seder to keep things lively - and to teach the story of the Exodus.
#2 - Exodus Reenactment
Aside from using the Passover Seder game at the table, we were looking for a way for everyone to get up from the table. We wanted people to be able to move, physically, from place to place. So we set up a reenactment of the exodus from Egypt.
To build Pharoah into the story without being too scary, we print an image of a pharoah-type character that we gently place in the lap of a friendly teddy bear.
We affix signs (words only, printed onto brightly color copy paper) to walls in different rooms indicating Egypt, Midian, Red Sea and desert. Using a simple script I wrote, we begin with directions for the Israelite slaves to build tall structures (using shoe boxes), then journey to Midian where Moses is a shepherd. The little ones love to be the sheep and make baa-ing sounds, so I print up several sheep images, glue them to light cardboard, and they can baa to their hearts’ content!
We set Midian near our gas fireplace, so we can pretend to see the bush that is on fire, but doesn’t burn up.
We share the roles, according to who is with us: narrator, Israelite men and women, Miriam, builder, Moses, Joseph, stage hand, etc. And we incorporate a rousing rendition of “Let My People Go,” with deep voices singing the chorus.
As the reenactment ends, we run through streamers (The Red Sea) to freedom in the desert where we sing and dance to Miriam’s Song. I put a few tambourines nearby, since Miriam danced with her timbrels.
The whole thing takes 10 minutes.
Passover Seder Props
Typically, our props include a walking stick as Moses’ staff, a pillowcase to create wind, shoe boxes for buildings, and pretend large rocks to bake matzah on. I also tore up some old white sheets into large squares to use as head coverings. We fold them into triangles and use stretchy headbands to keep them on our heads.
The ta-da part, though, is the Red Sea that our daughter made from crepe paper streamers hanging down from a doorway, with fish shapes cut from magazine pages stapled to them. When Moses gives us the signal, we “split” the Red Sea and run through it to the desert.
Last year, we invited a new friend to be Moses. I called him before the Seder to see if he had a bathrobe and walking stick he’d like to bring. Instead, he exceeded expectations, arriving in a full desert outfit, with a headdress (keffiyeh – a Bedouin kerchief) purchased long ago in Jordan.
Moreover, when someone else split the Red Sea and ran toward the desert, he called us back and said, “Am I Moses?” We had to go back and do it again - it was definitely a memorable, joyful moment!
#3 – Chad Gadya – Alternate Singing
I am not proud of it - but - well, it’s become a tradition. I don’t like the Chad Gadya song. So, I started singing it badly, gratingly. The grands love it and request it each year! “When do we get to Chad Gadya, Grandma?!”
Ready for more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest Board - Passover - Telling Stories.
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