This kids' subscription box makes Passover fun (really)
Days United delivers activities and keepsakes that engage kids
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For people who are Jewish (or who have married into the faith), March 28 marks the beginning of Passover. This annual holiday, which celebrates the Jews' Exodus from Egypt, is celebrated with a traditional meal known as a seder. The seder features lots of symbolic foods, lots of wine, and a reading of the Haggadah, a long Hebrew text that recounts the story of the Exodus.
A traditional seder can last for hours (you saw Unorthodox, right?) which is fine if you're an adult who likes drinking multiple glasses of kosher wine, but not so great if you're a kid who can't sit still for longer than seven minutes at a stretch. If you're looking for a way to engage your children in the Passover seder without simply sticking them in front of a device to watch the Prince of Egypt on repeat, Days United's Passover Box is just what the Bubbe ordered.
What is Days United?
Billed as "culture boxes that help families celebrate their traditions," Days United sends themed boxes for all of the Jewish holidays. Each box includes a colorful information booklet about the holiday as well as activities and keepsakes that kids can use over and over again.
The boxes can be purchased individually, or you can subscribe to the "Main Jewish Holidays" collection, which includes four boxes (Rosh Hashannah, Hanukkah, Passover, and Shavout) or the "All Jewish Holidays" collection which also includes boxes for Sukkot, Purim, Tu B'shvat, and Lag Ba'omer.
Days United also offers Indian and Chinese culture boxes, though we have not yet tested those.
How much does Days United cost?
If you just want one Jewish holiday box, it's going to run you $49.90, plus shipping. Want to save some shekels? Signing up for one of the subscription plans reduces the cost of each box to $41.90 per box for the four holiday plan, and $36.90 per box for all eight Jewish holidays. Shipping is not included and runs about $10 per box.
What is Days United like in real life?
I discovered Days United thanks to a targeted Instagram ad, so I was slightly worried that it was going to be a candidate for one of those "Instagram vs. Reality" memes. Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised when the box arrived and everything inside was really good quality. This is actually the second year I've ordered the Passover box—we got one last year for our first COVID seder—and both versions have been great. In fact, I was especially impressed with the fact that none of the items from 2020 were repeated in the 2021 box, so that everything inside was a totally new experience for my kids.
The "star" of the Days United Passover box is the Tetromino Seder Plate, which consists of wooden pieces that kids can mix and match to create a uniquely-shaped seder plate. Each piece is etched with both the Hebrew and English word for one of the symbolic foods—egg, lamb shank, parsley, horseradish, lettuce, and Haroset (a mixture of chopped nuts and apples)—so that kids can be given the task of putting together the most important elements of the seder. My kids loved being able to change the design of the seder plate, and I loved that I was able to delegate the task. Bonus points for the fact that they got a chance to practice what they learned in Hebrew school while setting it up.
Also included in the box was a cotton matza cover, a pouch for the Afikomen (a piece of matza that's hidden for kids to find), a mini matza maker, a set of felt wine glass counters, and an interactive Haggadah. The box was supposed to include a 10 plagues game, but it was missing from our kit.
What we liked about Days United
The quality of the products is outstanding, and I really appreciated that everything included can be used more than once. Too often I find that subscription boxes tend to be full of cute projects that inevitably end up in the trash, and that is not the case with Days United.
Let's be real: Passover can be super boring for little kids, so I liked that the included Haggadah features colorful illustrations as well as a "set the Passover table" sticker activity that kept my kids occupied for a good 15 minutes. I even got a chuckle out of this activity because it had a sticker that looked like a Zoom seder—talk about being on trend!
The make-your-own mini matza activity was lots of fun for my kids as well as a friend. The recipe was easy for them to do independently, and the resulting matza were actually delicious. Your Rabbi will still want you to purchase kosher for Passover matza, but if you're looking for a way to get your kids to buy in on unleavened bread, this is the ideal way to do it.
Another pro is that Days United has a QR code that can be scanned for more related activities (it's also how we got the matza recipe). I'm always in favor of brands that try to be more sustainable by opting for digital instead of paper.
What we didn't like about Days United
My kids were really disappointed that our box was missing the 10 plagues game. The plagues are probably the most entertaining part of the seder—especially if you invest in a set of silly masks—and one of the first things that most kids learn about when it comes to Passover. Heck, I was disappointed, too, because I wanted them to work on their Hebrew while we played!
The wine glass counters were...odd. Yes, technically everyone is supposed to drink four glasses of wine during the seder—don't worry, kids drink grape juice—but unless you have older children who are truly going to sit still and read the Haggadah cover to cover, I don't see the counters getting used. Again, they're crafted from colorful, nice quality felt, but it felt like a superfluous item.
Lastly, I thought that Days United missed a golden opportunity for a hands-on craft with the Afikomen bag. The one included has a cute "young detectives" graphic, but it would've been so much more fun if, instead, the box had included fabric pens and stencils so that kids could decorate it themselves. Finding the Afikomen is one of the highlights of the seder—especially if you find it and get to bargain with your parents or grandparents for a significant amount of cash—and turning the zippered bag into a craft project would've made it an especially fun keepsake.
Should you sign up for Days United?
If you're looking for a way to make the Jewish holidays more fun for your kids, Days United is certainly a great option. It definitely got my kids much more excited about Passover than they normally would be, and it gave them an opportunity to be really involved in putting the seder together (and I can use all the help I can get).
That being said, I think the price for a single box is pretty high, so if you're going to do it, why not go all in and sign up for all eight holidays? You'll save money and get a chance to learn about holidays that you probably haven't heard about since your own time at Hebrew school. At the very least, your Jewish mother-in-law will be thrilled that you're finally teaching her grandchildren something useful.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.