If you are Jewish, you are already familiar with Purim. For those unfamiliar with Purim, it is a Jewish festival held on the 14th day of Adar. Adar is the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar. According to BBC, Jews celebrate the festival to commemorate when Esther saved Jews from extermination by Haman in Persia. Haman wanted to exterminate the Jews due to the long-standing hatred between the Jewish and Haman’s ancestors.
Compared to other Jewish holidays, Purim is the most exciting. There are, therefore, endless activities adults and kids could partake in. However, you may be wondering what activities you should do with your kids during the holiday. You do not need to fret for too long since we have a list of Purim activities that children can do. Without further ado, here are the ten awesome Purim activities for kids.
10. Giving Them Several Costumes to Try Out
The fun aspect of Halloween is the costumes kids get to wear as they trick-or-treat. Thankfully, Purim is also a holiday that allows children to dress in costumes. Since Purim is a religious festival, you might think kids must wear Jewish costumes, but you would be wrong. The kids can wear any costume they like. If you are a parent looking for religious costume ideas, you can consider the Queen Esther costume for girls. According to Bible Hub, the queen wore her royal robes after visiting King Xerxes in his castle.
So, a robe is one of the items you can dress your daughter. Additionally, you can complete the attire with a crown. As for boys, you can dress them up as King Xerxes. You can get a cape and a crown for the king’s attire. Since boys do not have beards, you can improvise by using wool. Moving away from the religious theme, you can dress kids in costumes based on their dream job. You can shop for astronaut costumes for a kid who wants to be an astronaut. These costumes usually have a NASA logo and the American flag, so they will resemble astronauts.
9. Baking Hamantaschen with Them
No Purim festival is complete without hamantaschen. Hamantashen are triangular-shaped cookies filled with jam, nuts, or chocolate. So, why is this cookie eaten during this festival? According to Oh Nuts, the cookie represents Haman’s triangular hat, which signifies the Jewish people’s victory over Haman. Baking these cookies may seem hard, but there are kid-friendly recipes you can find online.
One of the places you can consider visiting is My Jewish Learning. Generally, you need to make the dough from scratch. Though it is a long step, kids will enjoy making the dough since it is like playing with modeling clay. After letting the kids make part of the dough, you can also allow them to roll it into triangular shapes. Next, teach them how to cut the shapes with a cookie-cutter. If it is your kid’s first time baking hamantaschen, they will likely not make them properly. As a result, they may get discouraged. However, remember to reassure them that the activity was solely for them to have fun.
8. Reading Purim Stories With Kids
One way to engage your kid is by buying kids’ story books from Amazon that talk about Purim. However, some kids may have difficulty reading or may find reading boring. The best way to engage the kid(s) is by reading the stories together. Not only do the kids learn about Purim by reading together, but they also bond with their parents. The story of Esther isn’t exactly kid-friendly.
For instance, it talks about Haman’s gruesome death by hanging. Plus, it talks about Queen Vashti’s husband humiliating her by asking her to show off her beauty to his guests. As a parent, you will instead focus on Esther’s bravery in saving her people. By focusing on her, the children will learn the importance of standing up for what is right. Not only will they learn this lesson, but they will also apply it in their lives.
7. Creating or Purchasing Groggers
One crucial custom done during Purim is shaking groggers. According to Kveller, the Jews shake the grogger whenever Haman’s name is mentioned during the reading of Esther’s story. This act is meant to drown out his name by making noise with the groggers. Consider this a way of booing someone you do not like. Some kids may not understand the significance of the practice, but they will enjoy shaking it.
Although you can purchase groggers from Amazon, we feel it would be better to help your kids make them. Making groggers is simple since you require an empty juice box, rice or uncooked popcorn kennels, a stick, and tape. First, ask the child to widen the juice box’s hole by using their finger or a straw. The hole should be broad enough to allow rice or uncooked popcorn kennels. Once you fill up the juice box, cover part of the hole with tape. Insert the stick, and you have a DIY grogger.
6. Playing Some Purim Music for Them to Dance to
The kids need to have fun by dancing, and what better way than by playing some Purim music? Some websites where you can find Purim music for kids are Spotify and YouTube. To make your search easy, simply google the term “Purim music for kids.” Some kids will dance to the music because they find dancing exciting. However, dancing along to the music signifies the joy from defeating Haman. Music is another way for kids who have trouble reading Purim story books to educate themselves about Esther.
That is because the lyrics will describe Esther’s story. For the kids to understand her story better, it would be best to use songs with music videos and not audio. Through the music videos, the children will see the characters talked about in the book of Esther. Another benefit of the music is that the child could discover they have singing talent. Whenever you play any music, children tend to sing along to it. As a parent, if you discover how much they like singing, you could encourage and help them get into the singing profession.
5. Getting Them Purim Coloring Books or Pages
There are Purim coloring books or pages that you can order from Amazon. Whichever you buy, the children will see all the characters from the book of Esther. Before you buy the book or paper for your kids, ensure you find out whether they are age-appropriate for your kid. For instance, if your kid is three, they will have trouble coloring on material for kids above ten years old.
As a result, the activity will be stressful instead of being fun for them. Some people may view coloring as pointless, but it is a beneficial activity for kids. It helps kids improve their fine motor skills since they must focus on where they are coloring. Besides improving their focusing skill, it helps to relieve them of any stress they may be experiencing.
4. Getting Them to Donate Gifts to Others
Purim is similar to Halloween since parties receive some gifts. However, the difference is that during Halloween, kids expect gifts, while on Purim, the kid is supposed to gift others. The gifts are usually packed in a Mischloach Manot (Purim goodie bag). It is up to the kid to put whichever gift they have in the bag. Some gift ideas include candy, nuts, chocolate, etc. Jewish donate to others because there is a command about giving to the needy in the 9th chapter of Esther. There are ways kids can deliver their gifts. They can knock at someone’s door and hand the gift to them.
If nobody is at home, the child can leave the gift by their doorstep. You can buy a Purim goodie bag, but it will mean much more to the recipient if you make one yourself. By making the bag, the child will leave thoughtful messages on the bag. The message does not even need to be coherent, as long as the recipient understands the gist of it. Training children to be generous is crucial. It helps kids become empathetic toward others since they will realize there are people who need help more than them. Also, it exposes them to causes that they could be a part of in the future.
3. Engaging Them in a Scavenger Hunt
Another fun way to educate kids about the Purim story is by creating a scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt consists of notes that you will hide in different locations. It is your duty to ensure that the notes tell the Purim story in an orderly sequence. If you do not know how to make a scavenger hunt, you can head to Very Well Family for ideas. Each note gives a clue about the next note. Anytime a child finds a note, read it aloud and allow them to get the next clue.
To make this activity enjoyable, ensure that several kids take part. Since scavenger hunts usually involve a lot of children, the kids will learn how to work as a team. As a team, they will discuss the clues they have found so that they solve the next puzzle. While they interact as a team, the children learn to create friends. Another benefit of scavenger hunts is that the kids exercise their bodies and minds. For the former, the child will spend much time running, which is important for bone formation and strengthening heart muscles. As for the mind, the child will analyze the clue they have found. After that, the child will think of how to solve a particular problem.
2. Creating Cardboard Castles for Kids to Play in
Do you have empty carton boxes that you no longer use? If you do, why not create castles for them? As you make them, you can include your child during the creation process. Once you have built the castle, you can bring some chairs to act as thrones. The kid sitting on the throne could either roleplay as Esther or Xerxes, depending on the gender. As they roleplay, the child may discover they are passionate about acting and pursue it as a career. This is an activity that you can do outside of Purim.
Therefore they do not have to portray only kings or queens from the book of Esther. As they take part in pretend play, the kids improve their creativity skills. That is because the kids will have to create some kind of plot related to life in the castle. Besides improving their creativity, the kids develop social skills. As they play the roles of “queen” or “king,” the child practices some behavioral cues that are common in leadership. When a child notices something wrong, they may point it out or remedy it.
1. Making Puppets of Purim Characters
Some people assume that puppets are challenging to make, which means that some end up buying them. However, you can make puppets from almost anything. In fact, the puppets do not have to resemble humans. You can identify objects that resemble humans or brainstorm with your children which objects to use. An object you could use is a wooden spoon. You can put eyes and mouth on the spoon by sticking cutouts from your drawings or anywhere else. Do this step for a few more wooden spoons, and you will have the Purim characters. If the children do not know the Purim story, you can tell the story using puppets. However, if they are familiar with the story, you can ask them to roleplay with you. This is yet another fun way of teaching your children about the Purim story.