Pin It
Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Passover Craft: Seder Placemat

Passover Seder placemat/

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.

Multicolored construction paper
A plate or bowl for tracing circles

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.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:

Many Languages, One America: 25 Proud Bilingual Children

These kids make clear what language the U.S. speaks.

Breastfeeding Around the World

In photos and figures

How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law

A whole year of arguing in the making


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!

  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 […]

  4. CommentsA Seder to remember… 10 ways to have an awesome Passover |   |  Tuesday, 31 March 2015 at 2:58 pm

    […] place mat to the kids places. They can make their own before the big meal like this adorable one here on or create one for play like the felt plates found […]

  5. CommentsA Seder to remember… 10 ways to have an awesome Passover | Top 10 Tuesday   |  Tuesday, 31 March 2015 at 3:04 pm

    […] place mat to the kids places. They can make their own before the big meal like this adorable one here on or create one for play like the felt plates found […]

  6. CommentsHave a Seder to Remember | Hudson Valley Kid Adventures   |  Tuesday, 28 July 2015 at 7:32 am

    […] place mat to the kids places. They can make their own before the big meal like this adorable onehere on or create one for play like the felt plates found […]

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!

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

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.
[…] the breastfeeding culture in Mongolia compared to America. Did you have any idea that something as simple as breastfeeding attitudes can […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
My mother born in the 1930's is originally from the northern part of Germany. I am in my mid fifties and have a terrible relationship with my mother. She is domineering and hurts those where it hurt...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
[…] JC Niala, InCultureParent […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Although humanity is one Man (in a generic sense, including woman)has identified himself endless groups, religious, nationalistic, ethnic, cultural, linguistic, etc. Once you separate ME from YOU on...
From What’s an Asian? Race and Identity for a New Generation
[…] […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Some great tips here but not many working mothers could feed baby every hour especially if you work in a major multi-nationa...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
So true!!! Thanks for being so honest and self reflective. It's a proof of true characte...
From Are Germans Really Rude?
As a first-time mom I've spent the last two months of my four-month-old's life stressed out about her sleep and I recognize how crazy this is. It's clearly not working for me! I'm wondering how non-...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep

More Crafts