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5 EYFS Passover Activities

EYFS Passover Activities

Passover is an 8-day Jewish holiday commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. It is a centuries-old holiday celebrated with a special meal, rituals, songs and traditions. Due to the many traditions that make Passover, it is the perfect topic for EYFS. 

 

Why do we celebrate Passover in EYFS?

 

Passover has been celebrated since around 1300 BC, making it an important Jewish holiday and historical event. By learning about Passover in EYFS, children broaden their horizons and learn about beliefs, traditions and cultures that differ from their own. 

 

Furthermore, the vast number of Passover traditions will undoubtedly inspire educators to create Passover-related EYFS activities that their pupils will enjoy. Finally, through Passover, children can learn new vocabulary about food, religious figures and customs, and explore the Hebrew language. 

 

What is Passover?

 

Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating when God used Moses to free the Israelites from slavery under the Egyptians. 

Passover takes place on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan, the first month of Aviv or spring. According to the Book of Exodus, God told Moses to anoint a special week for “the feast of unleavened bread”.

According to this religious text, Moses and his brother Aaron asked Pharaoh (the ruler of Egypt) to let the people of Israel go. When Pharaoh refused and claimed he did not recognise their God, Moses warned him that God would plague the Egyptians.

The Egyptians refused to listen, so God sent ten plagues. These included the Plague of Blood – which turned the River Nile into blood; the Plague of Livestock – during which all Egyptian animals died; and finally, the Plague on the First-Born – the death of the first-born child. 

God commanded Moses to tell his people to mark their doors with lamb’s blood so that the angel of death would not touch their firstborn sons. They then roasted and ate the lamb with bitter herbs and flatbread while dressed for the journey ahead in celebration. 

Pharaoh finally gave in after his eldest son died. As a result, he told the Israelites to leave and take whatever they wanted. 

 

What are the key elements of Passover?

 

The holiday begins with two nights, during which the Seder takes place. Seder – which means order – tells the story of Passover. It is celebrated with food, rituals, traditions, songs, and the Seder plate. 

Seder customs include retelling and discussing the story of Moses and the Jewish people, drinking four cups of wine, eating symbolic food on the Passover Seder plate, and meeting family and friends. 

Passover is a busy time for Jews. Jewish families gather together and are careful to eat food that is only “kosher” and eliminate foods that contain chametz (which means leavening). 

Children recite a part of the liturgy known as “The Four Questions during this Jewish festival.” This is when the children ask about the origin of Passover. They also ask why matzah and maror are eaten, why the meat eaten is exclusively roasted, and why food is dipped twice.

Fun EYFS Passover activities for language and communication development

 

Passover is an excellent EYFS topic because it revolves around storytelling. Storytelling is crucial to children’s development. 

Through stories, children learn new words and ideas through visual representations. It is also a great way to teach modelled language, sequencing and repetition. Here are some activities you could try with your class:

 

How is Passover celebrated?

 

Passover is a holiday rich in traditions. Find photos of the various ways Passover is celebrated. Add these photos to a Chatta board and use them to talk about typical Passover traditions. E.g. To celebrate Passover, families get together for a Seder meal. Instead of bread, Jewish families eat a type of flatbread known as matzah.

 

Cleaning the classroom toys

 

Passover is the perfect opportunity to describe different chores around the house or classroom setting. The children can learn verbs, adjectives, nouns and sequencing. As a result, they will be able to explain different chores, tasks and routines. E.g. For Passover, we washed the toys and scrubbed the dishes in warm, soapy water. 

 

Making a Kiddush cup

 

A “kiddush” refers to a blessing recited over wine and grape juice. The Kiddush cup refers to the cup that holds the wine that is part of the ritual. 

Describe the steps and materials involved in making a Kiddush cup for Passover. Children can then explain the sequence, the different things they used, and what the cup will be used for. Take photos of the process and describe them using Chatta.

 

 

What do you find on a Seder Plate?

 

One interesting thing children like to learn at Passover is all the things that go on a Seder plate. The Passover Seder plate usually contains symbolic food-related to the exodus of Jews from Egypt. 

Use the Seder plate food to tell the story of Passover and teach the children new vocabulary about food. Add photos of the food to a Chatta board and describe each item. E.g. Horseradish, parsley and chopped apples. 

We hope you enjoy these EYFS Passover resources. If you know of any activities we’ve not listed here, tweet us @hellochatta or share your activity in the Chatta community. 

 

You can download the Chatta software and trial it for free by visiting https://app.chattalearning.com.

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