I'm thinking about doing a Passover Seder this year. My mother was Jewish, and so although I was raised Catholic, I grew up celebrating Passover at a great-uncle's house (with lots of formality, etc.). When I was a teenager, an uncle had young children, so he revived Passover and made it a little simpler and more fun with the kids. So I've had some experience with *going* to a Seder, but never having one myself. I decided this year would be a good time to introduce my kids to the ideas. They're 6, 4, 2, and 5 months.
I got this Haggadah from the library that is *great*. I really like how it presents the story, how it explains things in really simple terms but covers a lot of stuff, and it even has some ideas for dancing/games that involve getting up from the table, which might be a good idea with kids who are so little! But doing everything in the book would take hours, and, well, see ages of kids above.
Anybody have any experience with Passover and little kids? Since it's just our family, I have full leeway to have it whatever length I think appropriate or break it up however I need to. I'm trying to think about what the most essential things to cover are, and what things I can leave out most easily. For instance, can we skip the ritual washing of the hands (assuming hands were washed the ordinary way before the meal), or is that important to include? The book has a page about why we wash our hands, which is interesting, but could be saved for a future year when the kids are older. Can we skip the "drinking of the wine" parts, given that my husband and I aren't big drinkers and the rest of the participants are children? Or should we get some Manischewitz and keep to the ritual? What about the glass for Elijah? I'm inclined to keep the Afikomen hunt, as I think the kids would enjoy that... although I'm a little rusty--prize only for the kid who finds it? Right? That's gonna lead to crying other kids, as the 6-year-old is almost guaranteed to find it and leave the 4-year-old and 2-year-old in the dust. Not that I think kids should never lose, it's just a bit tough within the family and with only two other competitors, and the same one almost always winning because of age. Other thoughts?
If it would be helpful, I can give a summary of what parts/activities/games are included in the book, but I didn't want to make this post overlong, and I think most people familiar with the Seder would already basically know the routine.