How I Make The Week of Unleavened Bread Special For Our Children
The Feast of Unleavened Bread is finally here! And YHWH’s people all around the world are celebrating! We’ve spent weeks getting excited and days preparing. Everything is clean, bright, and fresh for the new year.
Before my children were old enough to understand the concept of a “special” day, I used to wonder how the biblical holidays would be able to “compete” with the commercialized holidays that are more commonly celebrated. I’ve since learned that they don’t really have to compete. All of the preparing and anticipation creates our own “feast season atmosphere”. That is important to me because I believe recognizing the season of the feasts helps prepare our hearts and minds for the actual holy days. These are some ways that we begin to prepare for the biblical feast days:
Acknowledging the Season
In the Spring, the snows melts away. Flowers bloom and trees becoming green again. I like to make simple Spring decorations to create a fun, festive atmosphere around the house. The week before Unleavened Bread, the children and I pick out fresh flowers and place them around our house, on tables and windowsills. This year, we also started seeds for a vegetable garden. During the days leading up to Unleavened Bread I explain that the Biblical new year and the first feast days are in the Spring.
Before Unleavened Bread I like to break out the old recipes as well as test out some new ones! Some recipes are for using up the yeast, like raised donuts. Some are for testing out Unleavened Bread like my Cinnamon cream cheese stuffed matzah. Our house smells like Passover. These special treats are part of what makes the time special! It’s a feast, after all!
The kids really enjoy being able to help bake, too. My children are 3 and 4 years old, so it is a time consuming, messy endeavor. But that time in the kitchen communicates the specialness of this feast to them. It’s memorable.
Crafts are a big part of our feast week. They bring the stories to life for my children. We like to create play-doh Red Sea crossing scenes. Building matzah houses with candy and chocolate is another favorite. Pinterest is my go to for biblical craft ideas!
The most important part of a feast is the story behind it. Pesach is the story of how our people became a nation. It is the story of how Yeshua died so we could have eternal life! My husband and I retell these stories to our children on our living room floor. Sometimes we read books and sometimes we retell from memory. Our kids are young, so they don’t quite grasp all the concepts yet, but the important thing is that we are together. Spending quality time reading and storytelling as a family is a big part of our feast week.
“The Special Days” picture book is a great story to read during this feast season!
If you follow my Facebook page or Instagram page then you know that one of my biggest passions is solidifying our identity as Hebrews. Someday, we will get to leave these foreign lands. We’ll get to go home with our Savior! But what if we have fallen in love with our current homes? We have been singing the anthems and pledging our allegiances to foreign lands. Do we feel like Hebrews? Do we actually identify as Hebrews?
My heart is for my children to know that this land is not their home. I want my children to know the story of our ancestors: how did we get here? I want them to feel as I do: longing for Israel. The time of Passover is a great time to remind our children who we really are— the Children of Israel!