May one allow children to play in water on minor fasts? Are the rules the same (depending whom you follow) as for an adult?


From the Mishna Brurah 550:5 it seems that children who understand what happened on those days should definitely participate with the tzibbur as much as he can.


The Aruch haShulchan writes (OC 551:31):

אע"ג דאין אבלות לקטן כמ"ש ביו"ד סי' שפ"ד זהו בסתם אבלות אבל באבלות דרבים שהוא זכרון לחורבן בית קדשינו ראוי לחנך גם הקטנים [מג"א סקל"ח] ולאו משום דאבלות זו חמירא מסתם אבלות דאדרבא שיש דברים שמקילינן באבלות ישנה כדאמרינן ביבמות [מ"ג:] ע"ש אלא דבזה יש חינוך ליראת ד' שהקטן כשישאל על מה זה יבינו לו עניין חורבן בית המקדש
Even though [in general] mourning laws do not apply to minors (as outlined in YD 384), this is as regards [personal] mourning; however, for public mourning which is to remember the destruction of our holy Temple, it is proper to educate minors [in this matter]. This is not because the latter form of mourning is more strict, for indeed there are a number of matters in which it is more lenient (as outlined in Yevamot 43b), but rather [doing so] is a way to inculcate fear of God for the minor will inquire what is going on and will come to learn about the destruction of the Temple. (my translation)

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