The Pesach Connection to Children's Play

If you haven't seen the Two Minute Hagaddah, it's worth a peek and makes me smile every time I see it. However, our goal as parents and educators is NOT to make light of the important story of Pesach, but to try every year to experience and help our children experience the Exodus - the departing from Egypt as slaves and becoming free. At the Gan, we do this in different ways. In some classrooms, children learn that slaves "work hard and have NO choices." They learn that Pharaoh was mean because he "told the Jewish people what to do" all of the time.

This is a lesson Early Childhood educators take seriously. We know that there is a real danger in telling children what to do all the time, without encouraging them to think and act for themselves. We study how to make our classrooms places where children can grow in healthy ways, can plan their study, and engage in productive play as they make sense of the world around them. As trained educators, we know that to direct their play too much, to tell them how to do everything, not only impinges on their freedom, but sabotages their skill acquisition.

As Passover approaches, we wish you all Chag Pesach Sameach, a Happy Passover. We are commanded to retell and re-live the Exodus each year so we remember that we "came out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Let's let the Seder be a place to remind us not only of our own escape from slavery, but also of our child's play. Let us not make their natural learning a slavish experience.