We’ve made it to the book of Esther in our Journey through the Old Testament during our midweek kids’ club program. Kids are bringing friends and the crowd grows bigger each week (we’ve even had to order more Easy Risers for all our new friends!) This week, we’re in the book of Esther and since there is a whole Jewish holiday surrounding this brave woman of royalty, we decided to shake things up a bit and go with a party atmosphere for a week. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes and we’ll be setting up various stations for the kids to visit throughout the night.
To begin, we’ll introduce the story with a video. I’m looking at this Lego one right now, but I’ll keep browsing!
Station #1: Make Hamantaschen Cookies
In the kitchen, we’ll be making hamantaschen with the kids. Check out the recipe and the step by step (mostly!) process in this post. The plan is to make the dough ahead of time, and have kids roll it out, cut it out, and add the jelly. You can also set up a PRACTICE station with playdough. Read all about that here.
Station #2: Play JEWPardy
In Jewish version of Jeopardy, kids answer questions surrounding Purim such as questions about the characters, the plot, and the customs of the holiday. I hope to have one of our team members bring in an IPad and divide the kids up into teams to play this at a table.
Station #3: Constructing Crowns
All kids seem to love making crowns, especially when there are stickers and glitter involved. We’ll set up a station with construction paper (or pre-cut crowns if I can find them at the Dollar Tree), scissors and plenty of accessories for this one. First Pallette has some nice crown templates. I also found an adorable mini crown over at Bible belt balabusta that is made from a cardboard coffee sleeve (see picture below).
Station #4: Make Your Own Video Play
Using these fun finger puppets from Tori Avie’s website, have the kids reinact the story and video tape it to make their own video. Apparently, there are fun apps you can use to edit on the spot, but I’m not sure I’m tech savvy enough for all that! Need some extra inspiration? Check out this script and production notes from Practical Pages.
Station #5: Coloring Pages
When all else fails, it’s always good to have a coloring station! It’s great for those quieter kids or for kids who need a break from the action for a bit. Here’s a site that has great purim pictures.
Station #6: The Beauty Station
Queen Esther (along with plenty of other girls in the land) had a full 12 months of beauty treatments before going to see the king. Set up a station for nail painting or lotion making. For the lotion, simply buy a bottle of unscented lotion along with some essential oils and let the kids make their own “unique” lotion. Grab some tiny containers at the dollar store so they can take their creations home.
Station #7 Mask Making (and Picture Booth!)
Traditionally, people wear masks to celebrate Purim. Why not grab some white masks from a craft store and let the kids bedazzle them with feathers and jewels? Or you could pick up this Feather Mask Assortment and set up a simple photo booth for some snapshot fun!
Station #8: Noise Makers
Whenever the story of Esther is read, kids shake their noise makers (called groggers or graggers) when they hear the name of the bad guy, Haman. We’ve made paper plate groggers before, so I thought for this party, we might start with either paper towel holders or plastic eggs.
Station #9: Casting Lots and Yahtzee
This is a bit of a stretch, but Haman did cast lots in order to pick the day to attack the Jews. Yahtzee is a bit like casting lots (it involves dice!), so I thought I’d add it to the mix!
Station #10: Fishing
Purim is held during the Jewish month of Adar and the sign for Adar is a fish. Kids love the traditional carnival game of “fishing” over a sheet. Have kids either try to catch some foam fish in a kiddie pool or through the line over and catch a fish with a number on it. Whatever number they have (1-3) is the number of jelly beans they get.
Station #11: Hit the Haman
This is a simple game we played in my home, but I bet the boys at church would love it as well. Basically, it is a bean bag toss with Haman (the bad guy) as a target!
That’s it for now!
Do you celebrate Purim? I’d love to hear your ideas!
- Celebrate Purim Pinterest Board
- Purim Carnival Stations
- Jewish Homeschool Blog
- 25 Fun Activities for Purim (Free from Teachers Pay Teachers)