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Raising Needham: Easter and Passover Traditions

Engage the kids during this spring's holiday season with fun activities that encourage them to learn.

Raising Needham: Easter and Passover Traditions

Spring is still my favorite season—not just because my birthday falls in it, but because everything seems new and possible. I grew up with the Easter tradition and my husband with Passover so now we get the best of both worlds and can share that with our kids.

While I am fully versed in the Easter ways and hosting Easter dinner is only slightly overwhelming, Passover is another story. I rely on my husband and his family to show me the ropes. In other words, we always hope for an invitation to Passover seder.

From the get go, I was interested in making these holidays about family and tradition. While I love chocolate, I wasn’t about to load up the kids' baskets with massive quantities of the sweet stuff, so I opted to make the kids' Easter baskets better. I load them up with books and threw in a few games and one or two chocolate bunnies for good measure. I bought plastic eggs and filled them with stickers, tattoos, Mom and Dad bucks and a few with Hershey’s kisses. I haven’t gone the money route, but a friend did last year and it goes without saying that my kids were thrilled. I will have to make a game day decision on that one.

As for Passover, we have done both adult and kid seders and you know which one I prefer. If it is all the same to everyone else, I say do the kids' seder. When the kids are happy everyone is happy. I bought my kids some great books about Passover, and they continue to enjoy learning about both holidays.

After I had the Easter baskets thought through and the seder dinner confirmed, I wanted to build anticipation, so I went to the Web and found some great sites for Easter and Passover activities. My son was complaining about the wait for the holidays and I told him anticipation is half the fun. He looked at me like I had three heads. He must have gotten my inpatient gene.

Here are some websites I found for Passover activities: 

Here are some websites I found for Easter activities:

I have been successful at getting my kids excited about upcoming events and holidays by starting crafts in advance of the special day. We do banners for family arrivals, signs in the windows for spring and easy crafts for the holidays. I always use our big family calendar to mark the days, and my daughter does the same in her room. We pick out their outfits together, talk about how we want to celebrate and recently my kids have been asking for more responsibilities. My daughter wants to plan the Easter menu and my son wants to decide the egg hunt rules. Maybe so he can get all of the eggs, but we’ll see.

So get out the scissors and glue and craft your way to a fun Passover and Easter. Get the kids in the kitchen and help them make up the place cards. When your kids get involved with the holidays, they tend to be more fun and often remind you of the childhood traditions you had growing up.

Happy Easter and Happy Passover!

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