Jewish Journeys For Purim

Posted by: Sheryl Block, Interim ECE Director

Purim is the noisiest, most fun Jewish holiday. The story is found in the Megillah (scroll of the book of Esther).  It is the story of Mordechai and his niece Esther, who marries King Ahasuerus of Shushan, Persia. She finds out that Haman is plotting to hurt the Jewish people and she bravely informs the King. Much rejoicing is done and the celebration is very special.

There are four mitzvot or commandments of Purim

  1. Schlach Manot - sending gifts to friends and families
  2. Tzedakah - Giving gifts or money to those less fortunate
  3. Listening to the Megillah - Hearing the story of the book of Esther
  4. Participating in a Purim feast

Key Characters and Vocabulary in the Purim Story

King Ahasuerus - King of Shusan
Vashti - King’s first wife
Esther - She became the queen after Vashti
Haman - He plotted against the Jewish people
Hamentashen - A triangular shaped cookies eaten on Purim
Shusan - City in Persia
Megillah - a scroll
Gragger - A noise maker (Hebrew word is ra’ashan) - it is shaken to drown out the name of Haman
Schlach Monot - a Purim package you give to others, must have 2
different items in it.

Some Purim activities:

  • Dramatic Play - Read Purim stories and act them out - Add costumes, hats, crowns, jewelry
  • Kitchen Area - Pretend hamentashen baking, play dough
  • Library - Add Purim books
  • Block Area - Put pictures and props for castle building
  • Art Activities - Laminate pictures of Purim items such as hamentashen, graggers, masks - punch holes around them and use as lacing cards
  • Purim Lotto game, make masks, costumes, graggers,  schlach manot, or cards
  • Sensory Area - Find gems in the sandbox, Bowling with the Purim characters
  • Science - Experiment by making a triangle out of a circle
  • Bake hamentashen, fill with different fillings and mixtures
  • Math - patterning cards with different fillings and sizes
  • Make a blue print for a castle and build it
  • Graph the results of favorite characters or hamentashen flavors
  • Music - Add instruments while singing Purim songs
  • Sing Purim songs - Try substituting “hamentashen” for Gingerbread Man or the Muffin Man
  • Bowling with Purim characters
  • Making schlach manot (Purim packages)

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