Ask My Readers: What are your Afikomen Present traditions?

It’s T-minus two weeks, my friends. Are you ready?

Me? I’m still 95% in denial. But I’ll get there. Eventually.

For those of you a bit more on the stick, I thought a little chat about afikomen traditions might be fun.

So, do you do Afikomen gifts? And if so, what do you do?

We’re not into extravagant gifts – huge surprise, I know – nor promises of cash  (again, shocker), but I do like to have a little something on hand to give out to all the kids at our seder.

Think “little” as in Target Dollar Spot.

For my boys this year, I’ve already got a stash of cheapie clearance gifts, which they are sure to love: Iron Man sippy cups – on clearance for $2.19 at Old Navy a few months ago – and Bakugan t-shirts on clearance for $1.97 at Target. I’m not sure if my almost-two year old needs a gift? Odds are she will be sleeping by that point anyway, so I’m thinking no.

Tell me: What’s your family minhag (tradition) when it comes to afikomen gifts? Did you receive gifts as a child? Chime in!


  1. stephanie says

    You may want to get a small nothing for the baby anyway- if she is awake she is old enough to notice if the other kids get gifts and she doesn’t.
    Found this out the hard way at a seder last year when the host didn’t bother with afikomen prizes for the multiple under 2’s. Bad, bad idea. The littles had a hard time for the rest of the evening and the big kids couldn’t play/read with what they received until they went home.
    All the parents ended up leaving as soon as it was over.

  2. This will be our first year doing anything now that my oldest is almost 5. Last year they barely participated, and the difference in their understanding this year is enormous. They are already hearing from their classmates about getting a toy for finding the matzah. Hubsters and I had already decided on a couple of toys we felt we were going to buy in any case, and we’ll make those the prizes.

  3. We give books, for any and all ages. They are appropriate for any age, and any level of religious observance. I always have a stockpile in my closet from book fairs and sales… so I go through my collection and buy a few extras depending on the ages of our seder guests. They are also a quiet way to occupy any children who might still be awake.

  4. My mom always made a bag of goodies (random, inexpensive things like you mentioned and sometimes candy which was a special treat for us) for all the kids – even the sleeping ones. We looked forward to those bags the whole year!

    We carried on that tradition for the most part, but, last year, we ended up finding some more “expensive/bigger” things and giving out those. Kites – they were a huge hit on the Chag and during chol hamoed and probably ended costing about the same as the goody bag stuff. We also got the kids a set of Tinker toys (we had a gift card and found a sale ;)) for the second night. Those have had so much use, it was worth every penny!

  5. About six years ago, all the kids at our community seder found the affiokomen as a big gaggle. We did not have a gift for everyone. So as the parents we negotiated with our kids that each family group would allow their kids to pick what they wanted to do on one day of their next family vacation (with stipulations by each set of parents). We had a trip East planned, and at the time my kids were huge Balto fans. They heard there was a Balto the dog statue in Central Park and that is what they wanted to see. Much to our chagrin, to see Balto is free. We also went to the Central Park petting zoo – which at that time, admission for most of my kids was free since they were under the age limit. I believe it cost us $5 or $7 for the entire family. We even got free street parking on Park Ave for the day – unheard of!! The most expensive part of the day was to pay the toll to cross the George Washington Bridge. We had a whole day of fun.

  6. love that t-shirt …made me laugh:)
    If my grandparents joined us for the Seder that year we would get a gift from them for Afikomen but as we got older we really did not get Afikoman gifts . The “hide and seek” part of the Afikomen became the fun part to see if anyone could really manage to hide it well enough etc….
    I like your plan of collecting small things as they are on sale and having them ready for Seder night.


  7. My parents give the grandkids jewish books or dvds.
    I usually get stuff in Jan after all the toys are 75% off and hold it until pesach. I got a bat and ball set and a kick ball set. Perfect to spend time outdoors over pesach!
    My kids don’t stay up for the seder. But the next day my DH does a little seder for them going quickly through all the parts and sings the songs at the end. That way they don’t feel like they are left out.

  8. Growing up my parents went all out for our Afikomen present (think gameboy when that was the coolest toy you can get) but, I found that if I put thought into my childrens’ gifts it doesn’t matter how much I spend they are thrilled. For the son who loves to learn I bought magnetic Alef Bet letters and for the son who is in love with Baloo from the Jungle Book I got on ebay a small Baloo toy. It isn’t the size of the gift, I think showing your kids that you understand them is more meaningful.

  9. The afikomen finder would get to request to be taken to the place of their choice. The whole family would go but it was the finder’s choice. One year I chose Sea World, other years it was different places.

  10. I absolutely loved the afikoman gifts we received without fail every seder, even though I can’t for the life of me remember even one specifically. They were always little things and yet I remember the excitement of getting them so vividly. I think it was the mystery – we never saw our parents preparing them and never were completely sure they were going to appear. There was always wild speculation among the kids whether only the finder was going to get one, or whether the finder would get his wish no matter how grandiose. Then we all got little presents and loved them to bits and forgot all about the grandiose plans. I love reading everyone’s stories!

  11. Growing up at my grandparents’ seder the Afikoman Finder would get to ask for anything they wanted (within reason). My go to when I was younger was a Barbie doll…or something similar. Though I always asked for a Corvette first. 🙂

    So we would have to barter with Grandpa to get what we wanted.

    Now that my parents run the seder they ask me ahead of time what the girls might like and pre-purchase it. Julia is getting roller skates this year. You can only find the Afikoman one night…no duplicates. And since Elizabeth is so little, the grown up kids still get to look on the second night 🙂

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