These two unique Passover meals will give kids and their families an experience they won’t forget this Easter.
Easter marks the most profound and promising event in our faith—the time when Jesus paid the toll for our sins and fulfilled his destiny as the lamb of God. Kids love Easter because it’s fun and there’s usually candy involved…but they also love it because they recognize the incredible gift Jesus delivered to us on that morning, long, long ago.
This Easter, why not add another layer of meaning to what kids already know is true—that Jesus is God’s son who paid the ultimate price for our sins?
Using these variations on the Seder meal, you can help kids recognize the historical and spiritual impact of Passover, giving them an even deeper understanding of their faith.
Children’s Message: A Simplified Seder
Supplies Per table:
- Bowl of salt water
- Celery sticks (one per child)
- Three matzo crackers
- Paper cups of water for children (half full)
- Small bowl of horseradish
- Small bowl of haroseth
- Hard-boiled egg
- a lamb bone (call a butcher in advance!)
Finely chop two large apples and place them in a bowl. Add 1/3 cup chopped raisins and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. (Walnuts would normally be used, but substitute raisins to avoid allergy concerns.) Mix.
- Haroseth (kha-RO-seth)
- Matzo (MAT-se)
- Seder (SA-der)
What is a Seder?
The Passover meal is a powerful experience to give children. It honors God by highlighting his power and love for his people. It connects Bible events for children—and because kids know Jesus for who he is, they can see God’s plans from the beginning for Jesus to be our Savior.
Use this simplified Seder with children in your ministry—you’ll catch them talking about it and still making connections weeks later.
Arrange low, round tables (or seating on the floor around tablecloths) for children. Place several candles on each table, and put all supplies on each table, ready for use.
Consider having an adult or teenager at each table to guide the passing of the items and to supervise the candles. Light the candles and dim the lights before calling kids to the tables.
Hosting Your Seder
Ask children to come to the tables. Say: Each spring, Jewish people eat a Passover meal called the Seder. It’s a reminder that God called Moses to lead their people out of Egypt.
The word Seder means order because everything you eat and drink at a Passover meal is in a special order. We won’t serve all the Passover dishes because that takes hours. Instead, we’ll try a few and I’ll tell you about the rest.
Celery Stick and Salt Water
Ask everyone to take a celery stick. Say: First dip your celery stick in the bowl of water, then take a bite.
- How does it taste?
Say: The salty taste reminds the Jewish people of tears they cried in Egypt while they were slaves.
- Why do you think the Jews in Egypt were sad and cried?
Pass around the matzo crackers. Say: When God gave instructions for the first Passover meal, there wasn’t time for the Jews to let their bread rise to get nice and fluffy. So at the Passover, we serve matzo—bread without yeast. We have matzo here. Let’s each break off a piece and eat it. Pause as children eat matzo and, if they wish, drink water.
Horseradish and Haroseth
Pass around the bowl of horseradish. Say: At a Passover meal the Jews also taste a bitter herb. We won’t taste this one—just sniff it. This is horseradish, and not everyone likes the taste.
Say: Bitter herbs remind the Jews of how bitterly they suffered while they were slaves in Egypt. They had very difficult lives.
Say: Here’s another food served at Passover: haroseth. Allow children to sample the haroseth on a matzo cracker.
- What does it smell like?
- What does it look like?
Say: Haroseth looks like mushy cement. The Jews used mushy cement as mortar when they built brick buildings in Egypt. Haroseth reminds them of the hard, hard work they did.
Have table leaders set aside the haroseth and pass the hard-boiled egg.
- Do you dye eggs at Easter?
Say: Eggs are a symbol of springtime and new life. Roasted eggs reminded the Jews that Passover comes in the spring, and of a special festival.
The Lamb Bone
Have leaders pass the lamb bone.
As the bone is passed, say: At the Passover, lamb is served. It’s a reminder that spreading lambs’ blood on their doorposts kept the Jews safe in Egypt. God saved his people from the plague because he loves them!
Say: The Seder is a reminder of a mighty thing God did for his people. They were slaves and they couldn’t escape. Their lives were hard. They cried. They had to make bricks and build huge buildings for Pharaoh. But then God set them free! God brought them to a Promised Land. But he gave them something even more precious than the new land—the promise that a Savior was coming!
John the Baptist confirmed who that Savior was. Read aloud John 1:29.
Jesus Christ is our Passover. Read aloud 1 Corinthians 5:7.
Ask each table to close in prayer, thanking God for his love.
Family Activity: A Ice Cream Seder
Copy this version of the Seder meal to share with your families.
- Mini marshmallows
- Nuts (If you have kids with nut allergies, substitute unsweetened chocolate chips)
- Brightly colored sprinkles
- Sweet syrup toppings such as chocolate, fudge, butterscotch, or caramel
- Fruit: banana pieces, strawberries, blueberries, or other fruit
- Shredded coconut
- M&M’s candies
- Whipped cream
- Vanilla ice cream
The Passover meal is all about remembering: remembering God and remembering what God has done for his people.
As the meal unfolds, Jewish parents have a wonderful opportunity to teach their children about God’s power and care. But for Christians, a Passover meal (Seder) can be intimidating. Where do you get the recipes? How can you lead something as complicated as a Seder if you’ve never experienced one? And how exactly do you pronounce all those Hebrew words? You can search for all of this information, or you can use the following approach to help your children remember God’s work in and through your family using…ice cream!
Hosting an Ice Cream Seder
Place the listed items (except the ice cream) in separate bowls and place them on a table.
Gather your family together and say: It’s easy to forget what God has done for our family. We’re so busy getting ready for school, work, or extra activities that we forget to remember all God does for us. Let’s see how these foods can remind us of God’s love and how he’s touched our family.
Pass around the bowl of marshmallows. Say: Let’s each eat a mini-marshmallow. They look like baby marshmallows, don’t they? When I remember you as a baby, I always thank God for you. Let me tell you why.
Share a brief story about each child and how he or she has been a blessing to your family.
Bowl of Nuts or Chocolate Chips
Pass around the bowl of nuts and ask each person to taste one. Say: Nuts aren’t usually sweet. They often taste bitter, and most nuts come in hard shells. (If using chocolate, say: Chocolate isn’t always soft and sweet; sometimes it’s hard and bitter.) Let’s think about some hard or bitter things that have happened in our family.
Share a brief story of a difficult period for your family and how God helped you through it. Invite others to share their stories.
Bowl of Sprinkles
Pass around the bowl of sprinkles. Say: Pick your favorite color of sprinkle out of the bowl. Sprinkles always look like a fun party to me! What’s something fun that’s happened in our family—and how did God help that happen?
Let each family member share a story about a fun family time and how God was present during that time.
Invite each person to dip a finger in the syrup topping and lick it.
Say: These toppings cover ice cream. God’s love covers our family, too.
Share a brief story of a time you felt God’s love bringing peace or comfort to your family. Invite other family members to share their stories.
Pass around the fruit and invite each person to enjoy a piece. Say: Fruit is a healthy snack to eat. God has helped bring health to our family, too.
Remember and share different times when God brought health or healing to someone in your family.
Pass around the bowl of shredded coconut and invite everyone to take a pinch and eat it. Say: Coconut reminds me of snow—and winter. Each winter we celebrate Jesus’ birth. I’m grateful God sent his Son, but sometimes I forget to thank God for that gift. What’s something you want to thank God for?
Pause while family members respond.
Pass around the bowl of M&M’s candies. Ask each person to take his or her favorite color of candy and then look at it. Say: Turn your candy upside down. Now instead of “M&M” it’s “W&W”—that reminds me of “Wants & Wishes.” God has given our family lots of things we’ve wanted and wished for, things that go far beyond what we actually need.
Tell a brief story of something you wanted for your family that God provided, and have family members share similar stories.
Place a small dollop of whipped cream on family members’ index fingers and invite them to lick off the whipped cream. Say: Whipped cream is so sweet—and so is God’s love.
Share a story about how God’s love has sweetened your life, and let others share their sweet stories as well.
Say: It’d be a shame to have all these toppings and not enjoy them with ice cream!
Give each family member a bowl and spoon, and reveal a container of vanilla ice cream. Invite family members to cover their ice cream with their choice of toppings. Before you eat, offer a prayer of thanks to God for your family, and for God working in and through your family. cm
Mikal Keefer has volunteered for 30 years in children’s and youth ministry and manages Group’s copywriting team.