Passover is next week, and I wanted to share some of the fun ideas our family uses to prepare for and celebrate this biblical holiday. Exodus 12:24-27 tells us that one of the reasons we are to celebrate this feast is so that we can teach our children.
“…When your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians'” (Esodus 12:27, NIV).
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 tells us,
“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (NIV).
Passover makes it easy to teach your children! You’ll have many opportunities to “impress” God’s commands on your children and “talk about them” at every hour of the day.
Here are some simple ways to celebrate Passover with your kids:
- In the days leading up to Passover, act out the ten plagues that God put on the land of Egypt. Put red food coloring in all the drinks to symbolize the water that turned to blood. Purchase little plastic frogs and put them everywhere around the house, to realize how disgusting the plague of frogs must have been.
- Four days before Passover (see Exodus 12:3), choose a stuffed, toy lamb (as cute as possible) to be your family pet. Take care of your stuffed lamb as much as possible during the next few days, pretending to feed it, love it, pet it and care for it. On the night of Passover, act out the slaughter of your stuffed lamb, talking about how some of the blood was put to be put on the sides and tops of the door frames of your house. This is a good opportunity to talk to your firstborn son about how the little lamb takes his place, sparing his life. Discuss the sacrifice of our precious Savior Jesus and how He was our Passover Lamb and His blood was shed in our place.
- Do some intensive spring cleaning with your children, to clean out all the leaven from your home (Exodus 12:15). Be especially careful to clean the yeast from your kitchen, sweeping out dark corners and emptying the crumbs from the bottom of the toaster. (Last year, we even found a huge crumb of bread under a bed!) This is a great opportunity to talk about the sin in our lives and how it needs to be cleaned out from our lives (1 Corinthians 5:6-8).
- Wear your shoes and coat while you eat your Passover meal (Exodus 12:11). Send the kids outside to find long sticks to use as staffs. Use this to talk about how we’re strangers and pilgrims on this earth (see Hebrews 11:13-16, 24-28).
- Plan a special Passover meal, including either a formal “seder” (which means order or instruction) or just a simple explanation of the first passover. Some families talk about the passover meal that Jesus shared with His disciples the night before He Himself was sacrificed as the Passover lamb (see Matthew 26, Mark 16, Luke 22, and John 13).
- Many families enjoy a time of music and singing after dinner, in remembrance of the joy that Jesus gives and the deliverance we have from our sin (see Exodus 15). Follow this with a decadent dessert.
- Talk about how aliens living in the land of Israel could not celebrate the Passover until they had been circumcised (Exodus 12:48). Take this opportunity to read Ephesians 2:11-19 and rejoice over how we “who were once far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13, NIV).
- Remember to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the seven days after Passover, eating no yeast (Leviticus 23:4-8). Talk about how it’s easier to avoid yeast (and sin!) at home than it is out in the world. Talk about how yeast (and sin!) can look attractive to us. I’m sure you’ll think of even more illustrations!
- For homeschooling, I really like to use Debra Fogelbach’s “Basic Lined Notebook Pages” to record some of the things we learn together during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
I really like the downloadable “Special Passover Edition” by First Fruits of Zion. I also like Robin Sampson’s book, A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays. If you have other favorite resources, please share in the comments below.
Chag Pesach Sameach (“Happy Passover”),