Bloomsbury Early Years - Spring: A Spring Celebration!
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The Little Book of Celebrations

Activity Type:

Sensory

Ages:

3-5 years

Type of Content:

Activity

Related Activities

Spring: A Spring Celebration!

An idea for a special day

by Dawn Roper

In Spring, Jewish people celebrate Passover, remembering the time when their people escaped from slavery in Egypt and they only had unleavened bread (baked with no yeast) to eat on their journey. The eight day festival usually takes place in April, and emphasises freedom.

What you need

  • pictures or stories of the flight of the Jews from Egypt

  • horseradish root, parsley, salt, water,

  • apples, nuts, grape juice, cinammon

  • a grater and 2 bowls

Keywords

  • Passover (Pesach)

  • Jewish

  • slavery

  • Egypt

  • matza

  • favourite

  • taste

  • like/dislike

  • journey

What you do

Your preparation:

  • Collect the books and resources you need. You could get some matza bread or other unleavened bread to try. If you can, find a seder plate (a Jewish ceremonial plate for the foods)

Introducing the celebration and doing the activity:

  1. Gather the children in a circle in a quiet area.

  2. Explain to them that they are going to talk about a Jewish festival that happens every year in the month of March or April.

  3. Tell a simple version of the story of how the Jewish people were slaves in a place called Egypt, and how they escaped. Explain that Passover/Pesach is a festival which celebrates the journey of the Jewish people escaping from slavery.

  4. Ask the children if they know what it means to be a slave. Explain that slaves were unhappy, they had to work very hard, and didn’t get enough food and water. Ask them how the Jewish people would have felt when they escaped, and on the journey.

  5. Explain to the children that Jewish people have a special Passover supper where the story of the Exodus is read and they eat special foods and drink 4 cups of wine to remind them what happened in the story.

  6. Show the children the horseradish you have brought in. Let them smell it and taste it. It is bitter like the bitter time of slavery. It is eaten in a matza sandwich. They could try some if they like.

  7. Make some salt water. Taste it and talk about the taste. Jewish people dip parsley into it to remind them of the tears that Jewish people shed when they were slaves in Egypt.

  8. Make charoset by grating apple and mixing it with ground up nuts, cinnamon and grape juice into a paste. (You can use matza mea (ground matza) if you are concerned about nut allergies.) This is a reminder of the mortar used to make bricks for building the pyramids.

Ready for more?

  • You could sing this song to remind the chidlren of the work the Jewish slaves did when they helped to build the pyramids

    Dig, dig, dig goes my shovel deep, Dig, dig, dig goes my shovel deep
    For it’s work, work, work every day and every night,
    For it’s work, work, work when it’s dark and when it’s light.

Look, listen and note

  • Respond to what they hear

  • Use past, present and future forms

  • Talk about feelings and behaviour

  • Sensitivity to others' needs

  • Communities & traditions

Where to go next: Easter Egg Hunt
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