Pin It
Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Passover Craft: Seder Placemat

By
Passover Seder placemat/ incultureparent.com

Passover is the Jewish holiday that celebrates the Israelites’ exodus and freedom from slavery under the Egyptians.  The Passover Seder is a ritual feast–full of ceremony and symbolism–that marks the beginning of Passover. It involves retelling the story of the exodus from Egypt together with dinner.  The Seder plate contains symbolic foods, each with special significance to the story.

I only recently started to learn about the Seder plate at my first Passover dinner.  It is rich with history and meaning, but to a newcomer and to children, it can be a bit hard to remember the details.  I chose to make a Seder placemat to help me and my daughters remember the foods more easily.  This craft is a good one to set up while a parent is still preparing for the rest of the event.  Children often want something to do while we are busy with special preparations.  This is a perfect way to help them learn about the holiday and keep their little fingers busy while parents work on the dinner.

Here’s a brief background on the Seder plate before we begin the craft. If you think of the Seder plate as a clock, then twelve o’clock would be the maror–the bitter food to represent the hard times the Jews spent in slavery.  This is usually signified by horseradish.  At the one-to-two o’clock position is the zeroa, or roasted lamb.  While some folks employ other meat here, vegetarians tend to use beets.  The meat symbolizes the lamb that the Jews sacrificed before the first Passover.  In the four-to-five o’clock position is the charoset, a mixture of fruits, nuts and wine that is brownish in color (some have simply used applesauce).  The charoset denotes the mortar between the bricks that the Jewish slaves used in building the ancient structures for the Egyptians.  At six o’clock, you find the hazeret–romaine lettuce–another bitter vegetable representing the horror of enslavement.  Next around the clock is karpas, a non-bitter vegetable (e.g., raw onion or boiled potato), which is dipped in salt water as a symbol of the tears of those where were enslaved.  The last piece is beitzah, a boiled egg.  In the times of Exodus, people were given a boiled egg during a period of mourning.

And now here’s what you need to make your own Seder placemats.

Materials:
Multicolored construction paper
Scissors
Glue
A plate or bowl for tracing circles

Instructions:
1. I started with a large piece of construction paper, 9’x12’; we chose pink, because that is my daughter’s favorite color.  Then, in other colors of no importance, I used a bowl as a template and created six circles to use as the backgrounds to the food on the plate.

 



I have many materials in my craft closet and decided to use craft foam for the foods.  However, I don’t think this is necessary–in fact, I think using more construction paper would be more prudent if you actually want to use your placemat during a meal.  But, the craft foam was calling to me!

2. I cut out a lamb shank from the red foam.  Then I cut apple pieces (for the apple sauce) out of the red and white foams.  I cut a piece of romaine lettuce from the green foam and then an onion from the yellow and green foam.  I then made a slice of boiled eggs from the yellow and white and ended with a white horseradish with greenery on top.  I didn’t trace the shapes or spend a great deal of time practicing them before I cut.  Craft foam is a fairly forgiving material and very easy to work with.

3. After I cut out all the pieces, I set my daughter up with a small cup of wet glue and a paintbrush and let her paste the foam pieces onto the circles.  Then I showed her the proper arrangement on the placemat so she could glue them herself.



I have a vision of practicing this Seder plate with my children every year, using other crafts to create the plate.  In this way, by the time they are old enough to be trusted with a beautiful ceramic plate, they will know what everything is for!

Have fun and enjoy your time with friends and family!

For further information:
This website is full of helpful information about the Seder plate, and also discusses how to properly perform a Seder and Passover dinner.

And check out here for the perfect Passover recipe for gefilte fish.

© 2012 – 2014, Sara Headley. All rights reserved.

m4s0n501

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

The secret of why African babies don't meltdown like Western ones.

How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband

And why this is the number one fight in our household

An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline

Does Islam's reputation for severity and harshness apply to how Muslims raise children?

10 Best World Maps for Your Children’s Room

Because every little global citizen needs a map

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sara Headley lives in northern New Mexico where she enjoys copious amounts of green chile. She is a homeschooling mom of three young girls. Sara taught first grade before becoming a stay-at-home mom. Sara loves crafting with (and without) her kids, though glitter still remains on the “naughty” list. Sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening and teaching are her passions…for now. Those might change later to something like philosophy, whitewater rafting and hat-making.

Leave us a comment!

3 Comments
  1. CommentsSeder Placemats - The Squishable Baby   |  Saturday, 23 March 2013 at 8:15 pm

    […] would learn the Jewish tradition of Passover.  First and foremost,  I want to thank Stephanie at InCultureParent for helping me and answering all of my […]

  2. CommentsFun Passover activities for kids | OnlineShoppingReport   |  Monday, 25 March 2013 at 12:43 pm

    […] Prefer more practical crafts? Make these Seder placemats. […]

  3. CommentsInCultureParent | After Her Husband’s Tragic Death, She Embraced a Religion and Culture Not Her Own   |  Tuesday, 01 July 2014 at 9:56 am

    […] Jewish. She celebrates Jewish festivities when her in-laws visit. My family experienced our first Passover seder at Yuki’s when her mother-in-law came to […]









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.

Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.

How My Two Year Old is Teaching Me Thai

I am just another "farang" or stranger until my son starts speaking fluent Thai

10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child

What you may want to consider before sending in that adoption application.

10 Best Children's Books for Gifts

Our Editors favorite multicultural books for this holiday season.

Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?

My wife thinks three languages will confuse our child. Is she right?

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Try a few of these from this fantastic selection of African-American holiday books

What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal

How do I explain to my kids the racism that does not come in the form of explicit laws and overt, blatant prejudice?
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/08/mothers-to-be-pregnancy-around-the-world/ […...
From Mothers-To-Be: Pregnancy Around the World
Hi Linda. Thank you. I too hope our paths cross again. I think the challenge of having the privilege of traveling is not to feel guilty and compare, but rather to learn to observe and listen. Sounds...
From What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala
Michelle: This is an eye-opening piece. After just returning from Mexico, I see that we have so much privilege and we don't always realize how it appears to others. We (and our traveling companions)...
From What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala
[…] Gang · Grogg.org Growing Book by Book ·How the Sun Rose I’m Not The Nanny ·Imagiread InCulture Parent Indian American Mom ·Hey Mama His Mama Java John Z’s Joye Johnson Journey...
From Multicultural Children’s Book: One City, Two Brothers
Thanks for beautiful post. As a muslim parenting is huge responsibility for us. May Allah make us good parents and make our kids source of blessings for us in both world...
From Raising Good Muslims
I am Australian with a British background. I have five daughter's and I am not keen on 'sleep overs' at all. I do not think I'll be allowing it. My husband is Australian with an Italian backgroun...
From The Cultural Battleground of Sleepovers
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/02/breastfeeding-land-genghis-khan/ […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] Gang  · Grogg.org Growing Book by Book  ·How the Sun Rose  I’m Not The Nanny ·Imagiread InCulture Parent Indian American Mom ·Hey Mama His Mama    Java John Z’s Joye Joh...
From Multicultural Children’s Book: One City, Two Brothers
I am willing to donate but l am very sick presently receiving an intensive treatment. Tell me what to do Thanks, Mrs. Diana Wlat...
From Letters from Orphans

More Crafts