Children’s Books to Help Young Kids Understand and Engage in Passover


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A young family celebrates Passover

Passover is an important celebration in the Jewish culture and is celebrated with a Seder, or ritual meal. This meal can be long, as we follow along in a Haggadah and go through the story of Passover.

I want to share books that can help teach our children about Passover, why it is important, and help make the holiday fun!

The Story of Passover

Passover celebrates when God “passed over” the Israelites during the tenth plague. Moses was helping to free the Israelites from the evil king Pharaoh. In the process, God sent down 10 plagues and helped the Israelites through them. Then Moses led his people to freedom.

To help learn more about the whole story of Passover, here are some helpful reads. These can be read any time of year, but might be a good idea in preparation for the holiday.

Also, check out:

What Is Matzah?

Getting ready for Passover is a big task! When getting ready for Passover, we clean the house and make sure there is no chametz or leavened bread in the house. We only eat matzah (or unleavened bread) for Passover. We do this because the Jews did not have time to let the bread rise as they were escaping.

Cleaning the house and labeling foods for Passover is a lot of work, but as a mom, I try to get my children involved and make it fun. We talk about what matzah is, why we eat it, and think of what we can make with it. We also eat some of the foods we won’t be eating during Passover, either to finish them off or to enjoy them before we put them away for a week.

These are great options for your kiddos . . . all about matzah!

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The Seder Plate

On one night of Passover, most of the time on the first night, we have a big Seder meal where we read the Haggadah that tells the story of Passover. We have a special Seder plate at the table. We talk about the six foods on the plate and what they represent. It is the large round plate with six indentations. The Seder plate holds these things with deep symbolism:

  1. A roasted egg, which is a sign of new life.
  2. Bitter herbs to remind us of the ancient Jews’ hard lives.
  3. Parsley to represent spring (which we dip in salt water, depicting Jewish people’s tears).
  4. Charoset, a sweet mixture of apples and honey that represents the mortar used by the slaves.
  5. A shank bone to remind us of the slaughtered lambs.
  6. Lettuce or horseradish to symbolize the slaves’ bitter lives.

The oldest family member usually leads the Seder and refers to each object while telling the story. This helps Jews to visualize the past and look forward to a better future.

This is a great craft idea to help kids understand more about the Seder plate: Passover Seder Plate Craft. This book is one of my favorites:

Another great option from PJ Library is: What happens at a Seder?

Seder plate on a fancy tableHaggadah

The Haggadah is the book that we use at the Seder. PJ Library has put together some shortened versions just for families:

You can also find more Passover books from PJ Library.

The Four Questions

During the Seder, children get to ask the four questions that are significant to Passover. They then will get to go and hunt for the afikoman, which is a hidden piece of matzah. It is really fun and as children get older, asking the four questions feels important and has more significance. Teaching the four questions can be found here, but also check out these resources:

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There are also songs sung on Passover, one that is the most recognizable is called “Dayenu.” Here is a link to hear it being sung, but there are also great books:

I hope these books and resources help you and your family learn a little bit about Passover!

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Suzy Card
Suzy was born and raised in Arlington. She comes from a big family. As the oldest of six, Suzy has always been the mama bear to friends and family alike. She is happily married to her best friend of 10 years, and they have two young children, Aurora (2016) and Benjamin (2019). Suzy has been a youth services librarian for 10 years, at the moment she is taking a break from libraries to stay home and raise her two littles. Her husband, who is her hero, is a firefighter/paramedic. Suzy is always up for a new adventure when not busy juggling work life and wife/mom life. She is a lover of good coffee, curling up in a comfy spot with a good book, watching re-runs of Friends, lifting weights, baking, and trying new food around the metroplex. Suzy is also the community groups coordinator for Fort Worth Moms.


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