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I have tried looking up the answer to this question, I hope someone here can give me an answer!

My mother-in-law had heard somewhere that because the second seder outside Israel is of rabbinic ordinance, there is a lenience to what is mandatory for the second seder. She heard that it would be possible to go through the mandatory sections of the seder (such as discussing pesach, matza and maror) within a half hour. As the father of two small girls, I would like to be able to have a meaningful second seder with them (this will be our first seder by ourselves) without forcing them to stay up past midnight (nightfall isn't until 9:30) or simply zooming through the words. What sections of the second seder can be done before nightfall, and which must be dine after nightfall?

Many thanks in advance for your answer(s)!

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    Have you considered doing a model seder during the day with them, where you discuss the Exodus, have matzah and marror, and do some songs? Then you could have a real seder after nightfall without worrying too much about the kids -- whatever they catch, good; whatever they miss, at least they got the experience during the day. – Scimonster Apr 3 '16 at 8:25
  • @scim Eating matza on erev pesach is problematic – Double AA Apr 3 '16 at 13:25
  • @DoubleAA The OP said second seder. – Scimonster Apr 3 '16 at 13:26
  • @Scimonster Eating a meal on first day Pesach afternoon (from Samukh leMincha) is problematic too. – Double AA Apr 3 '16 at 13:38
  • @DoubleAA Not for a little kid. The OP doesn't have to make a full meal out of it himself. Barry, if you decide to go this route, make sure to consult your rabbi as to what you are and aren't allowed to do personally during the afternoon. – Scimonster Apr 3 '16 at 13:41
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In fact, many aspects of the first seder are also Rabbinical. However, there is no difference: everything done at the second seder is identical to the first seder (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 496:2). Kiddush - the first stage of the seder - must be after nightfall (O.C. 472:1 - look up halachik nightfall for your location at myzmanim.com).

That said, the Maggid (story) section of the seder is not actually that long. Even with everyone taking turns reading it around the table, it doesn't take more than about 45 minutes. Telling your children about the slavery and leaving Egypt is the main mitzva, and you should do that in your own words if they are too young to appreciate the words of the Hagada. You could then quickly read through Maggid in the Hagada to yourself, which wouldn't take more than a few minutes.

When my kids were little, we made a big deal of the end of Maggid with the list of the 10 plagues (acting out the plagues, plastic frogs/farm animals/wild animals, hole-punch circles for dust/lice, etc). Then we got to eating matza and marror, fed them a little, and put them to bed.

The four cups must be drunk in order after saying their accompanying parts of the seder (i.e. the first cup is kiddush, the second cup after maggid, the third cup after birkat hamazon, and the fourth cup after hallel - O.C. 472:8). Potentially some sections of Maggid could be skipped (heard from Rav Yitzchok Berkovits) but it's not going to make a difference in attention span for little kids - if the question was teenagers it would be worth consideration.

If they are too young for to stay up (give them a nap in the afternoon!) then the suggestion of doing a model seder earlier is excellent.

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    Ari welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for your first two answers! MY places a lot of emphasis on sources (after all most of us don’t know you personally) so please think about adding some where relevant. Maybe you will be interested by something I wrote to help you understand the site "A beginner’s guide to MY - How is this site different from other Judaism sites” ? I hope you'll look around and find other Q&A of interest and stay learning with us. – mbloch Apr 3 '16 at 10:08
  • Wonderful, well done, now if you are a perfectionist, you could link some of them using e.g., sefaria, I will do it for the first one to give you a sense. But this is not at all mandatory – mbloch Apr 4 '16 at 19:16
  • Worth noting as well that for kiddush one need not wait till Tzait like they print for Shabbat but only until medium stars come out, as the 4-Cups are only rabbinic. so you can start ~15 minutes earlier than most shuls tell you – Double AA Apr 4 '16 at 23:04

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