We've all seen the photos of amazing Seder tables. I'm talking pyramids, camels and tablecloths moulded and sculpted to resemble the waves of the Red Sea. These Sederscapes are wow! So inspiring, but they can also be intimidating, especially for those of us who are not so creative (or who don't have the right props!). See what I mean:
But don't fear: there are many ways to make your Seder table fun and interactive. I'm not going to pretend that they require zero effort, because that's simply not true. But, with a bit of pre-planning, you can put together something perfect for your family and guests.
Let's do it together. Right now. Grab a pen and paper, and as you read through this article, note down the ideas you like, or your own ideas. Include a shopping list on the side so you can add everything you need to your next shop. Job done.
Here are some ideas for a simple, stress-free, but FUN, Seder table:
1. Blue tablecloth, beige runner. That's it.
I got both from IKEA and I accessorised it with whatever I could find at home. LEGO people, plants and a camel ornament that my parents once brought back for me from Morocco.
--- BONUS TIP: Get your kids to set up the LEGO Bnei Yisrael procession to keep them busy during the erev Pesach rush!
2. Individual Seder plates
I love this idea because it makes everyone feel really included, it makes the kids feel grown up, AND it is so much easier and quicker than waiting for everything to get passed down and around the table, marror spilling out along the way. I've seen lots of cool, fancy ways of doing this:
But actually, a disposable bento box/TV dinner tray would be just as effective -- and really cute! Or even a regular plate will do! I think I will try it this year.
There are lots of Pesach printables available online, which can add to your table decor. From placemats and colouring sheets to question cards and cootie catchers, you could even print them out now and keep them ready for Seder night.
There are so many ways to get everyone involved. Have a look at our Pesach fun Pinterest board to see lots of inventive ideas.
4. Ten plagues DIY
You can buy little sets of the Ten Plagues from most Judaica/kosher shops in the run up to Pesach. You can get finger puppets, masks or bags of little toys that represent the Ten Plagues. Sprinkle these around the table to bring the Pesach story to life.
OR... you can assemble your own. My mom buys a pack of styrofoam balls which she likes to throw around throughout the evening as hailstones. And whatever stuffed animals you have at home can be dotted around the table for wild animals/pestilence. Simple!
I quite like the idea of edible plagues, which I might try this year if I remember: Here are my ideas: Grape juice ice cubes (blood), green jelly sweets (frogs), chocolate sprinkles (lice), animal crackers (wild animals/pestilence), gushers sweets (boils), marshmallows (hailstones), insect-shaped sweets (locusts), black liquorice (darkness), and who knows what for the killing of the firstborns -- you can get as graphic as you like! This option keeps the kids happy.
Another great idea is giving each person at the table a collection of LEGO pieces and getting them to construct one of the plagues. Interactive and creative.
5. Seder Bingo.
If you head to Dena Ackerman's website, you can download a set of her wonderful Seder Bingo cards for free. This is a great way to engage everyone throughout the Seder. Think up a good prize for the winner. My winner will get served first when it comes to the meal!
6. Cup of tea
One of the things people most often complain about on Seder night is that they're H U N G R Y. True, Maggid can take a while, especially if you spend time listening to questions, divrei Torah and playing games (and eating edible plagues, etc). Still, you've made Kiddush, so there's no reason you can't enjoy a nice cup of tea or other soft drinks during the storytelling part. Most people don't realise that you can, and this always greatly enhances our Seder!
Hopefully you've now got a nice list of ideas for setting the Seder table and making it engaging for everyone. Perhaps you're so efficient, you've already printed out your printables! Either way, a bit of advance prep should make it a lot easier in the run up to Pesach. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments!