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I'm going to be at a seder this year with young children who are familiar with the basic structure of the haggadah. Some will likely have some of the classic divrei torah prepared for them to say. I'm looking for a way to "spice up" the seder.

Has anyone been to a seder with similar company and found it to be a unique and effective educational experience? What techniques did they use? Quick interesting divrei torah? Themed divrei torah? Skits? Games? What about pausing the haggadah in the middle and switching texts to: Chumash? A picture book about korban pesach? In what other unique ways can I "cause the children to ask questions" and involve them in the seder?

All ideas and suggestions are welcome.

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I don't know about you, but: Tora + talmud during the seder = boring. It is very rare that all of the family members are meeting each other like in the seder. So, my best advice is: 1) Finish the seder 1st part(untill the food) as fast as you can. 2) Eat, talk, drink and have fun with each other untill the end of the night. 3) Only the once who will want to, will finish the 2nd part of the seder. –  user2051993 Feb 15 '13 at 0:39
See the first two pages of this pdf: Also, The Little Midrash Says is a helpful hagadah for this purpose. –  b a Feb 15 '13 at 1:49
@user2051993 It seems you haven't looked at my user profile. I find Torah + Talmud to be quite interesting in fact. My best advice to you is: find some other time of the year (including the next morning!) to catch up with your relatives and save the one night every year where all Jews throughout the millennia have discussed the Exodus for just that. –  Double AA Feb 15 '13 at 2:21
This may come in handy. –  Seth J Mar 19 '14 at 23:59
The link provided above by @SethJ is now broken. You can read the article "Do's and Don't for Running an Explanatory Seder" at page 53 of 92. –  Mike Mar 12 at 1:57

3 Answers 3

I've been to many sedarim with little kids, and until recently, i was counted among them. :) I'll share some of my experiences, both the hits and flops.

Top tip: Get the kids involved. Give them some suggestions - let them pick out which they want to do.


A skit/play/show/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is a classic. Suggested topics include slavery, the plagues, the exodus itself, or (often) all together.

This can be successful, but it has to be done properly. A short one is best. Last year i really overdid it, and nobody was really interested. Keep it in the 5-10 minute range.

The best time for this is Shulchan Orech. This way, the adults can eat while they watch the play. The kids will often be (nearly) full from the matzah, maror, koreich, egg, and kneidlach, so this is a good way to keep them occupied for the rest of the meal.
Maggid might sound like a good idea (we are discussing it), but it isn't, unless you want your seder lasting until dawn...

Afikoman Treasure Hunt

Yes, you read that right! Instead of plain old hide-and-seek for the afikoman, let's spice it up a little. I came up with the idea last year, and it went over extremely well.

It's pretty simple to do. Just come up with some clues leading to locations around the house. At the last one, hide the afikoman. I added a bit of an extra dimension by having all of the clues together add up to one final clue.


There are numerous songs and poems written for the seder. The Dr. Seuss Four Questions is an old favorite. So is Don't Sit on the Afikoman. We've tried a bunch of the ones from this page; most of them are cute once, but not lasting for year after year.

Divrei Torah + Questions

The above things are good for making the seder fun and interesting. In terms of prompting more spontaneous questions, some quick divrei Torah can be good, ideally things that are likely to prompt questions.

Also, have the adults ask questions. Kids can sometimes be afraid of it being a "stupid question". The best way to overcome this is to show that you're not afraid to ask questions.


If the kids are old enough to read and understand the haggadah, i recommend you let them. :) A common custom is to go around the table having everyone read a section. Include the kids in this as well! It might go a little slower, but practice makes perfect, and it's certainly rewarding for the child to succeed in it. And as a bonus, they may come up with more questions from this. I know i have.


Get the kids involved, not shunted to the side. It'll make the seder take longer, yes. It will also make the seder more interesting for everyone.

If you use some of my ideas, feel free to leave a comment saying how it worked for you.

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+1 many thanks for sharing your experiences. Is the Afikoman Treasure Hunt educational in any way? –  Double AA Jan 12 at 17:42
It depends on the clues. If you include interesting facts in the clues, then yes. If the clues are regular riddles and things, then not so much. –  Scimonster Jan 12 at 18:08
Can you include an example clue which is seder-educational? I'm having a hard time picturing it (and others might as well) –  Double AA Jan 12 at 18:09
When her kids were younger (up through high school) my sister-in-law did the "treasure hunt" and the kids really loved that. She made it long enough (I think it was usually a chain of about 8-10 clues) that we could set them to work while we were still finishing the meal, so the kids had something to do (they ate faster/less) and we didn't have to wait a long time after the meal. –  Monica Cellio Jan 12 at 18:37
@DoubleAA If there's a bechor at the Seder, an example clue could be "this person would have died in the last plague", and lead to him. Or, "in modern Hebrew, a tanin is a crocodile. Rashi says it means..." leading to a pet snake. –  Scimonster Jan 12 at 22:03

As a person who has had numerous seders with young children I would highly recommend they be given the opportunity to act out the yeztiah story if they are so inclined; perhaps during Shulchan Orech.

Also, maybe for the 10 plagues you can use different manipulatives to show each of them (or act them out).

If a child has a D'var Torah they learned in school, let them say it and be excited to share with everyone else, and have everyone else appear excited to hear from them.

Really though, I think the skits work best to make the seder "more interesting" and to involve everyone.

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It's well worth listening to this shiur of Rabbi Reuven Leuchter talmid of Rav Shlomo Wolbe zt"l: It’s titled Hagodo 1. Here are a few of the main points: but they are no substitute for viewing and hearing this shiur. Questions about these points may arise from my paraphrasing. Please listen to the shiur.

1) Klal Yisroel went out – we as individuals went out only as part of the klal.

2) The Borei Olom personally intervened. The emphasis is "Ilo lo hotzi HKBH" (not if we wouldn’t have come out things would have been different.) This intervention is the basis of my life. I have to experience that! Knowledge alone is insufficient.

3) The part about Rebbe Elozor ben Azariah is to show that HKBH enters the picture at all times and not that he aged overnight.

4) Message of the 4 sons is that HKBH intervenes according to your capacities! The Rosho is cultured; his view is that Yetzias Mitzrayim is not relevant to me. He has to realise that he can only go out if he is part of the klal. The Aino yodea lisheol is a modern person intelligent person. He says holydays commemorate the old times. He looks to the future. He honours what we do. He just says it just doesn’t speak to me. His answer is "Yochol mirosh chodesh." We went out of mitzraim in order to eat the matzo. We are not celebrating Passover to remember the past. The past happened because of now.

5) Rav Leuchter says that the Seder is NOT about saying Divrei Torah.

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What techniques would you use to impart this meaningful information? –  Double AA Mar 21 '12 at 16:39
Please see my comment to your other question. –  Avrohom Yitzchok Mar 21 '12 at 19:33
re #5 ) It's very nice of Rav Leuchter to argue on the tosefta pesachim 10:8 but I think I'll stick to the more traditional sources. –  Double AA Mar 25 '12 at 20:22

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