The Jewish springtime holiday of Purim revolves around the story of a Biblical queen. Explore the holiday even more by making an easy Purim puppet of Queen Esther and perform a puppet show about the Purim story—royal fun!
What You Need:
- Old deck of cards
- Craft sticks
- Liquid glue
- Internet access
What You Do:
- To get her started, tell your child the Purim story and some facts about the Jewish holiday of Purim, which is usually celebrated in mid-March. The holiday honors the story of Queen Esther from the Bible, a Jewish woman who became Queen of Persia and convinced King Xerxes to spare the lives of Jews in the ancient Persian Empire. Jews often celebrate with a Purim festival, that sometimes includes women and girls dressing up as Queen Esther or performances of Queen Esther’s story.
- Give your child a craft stick, a queen card from an old deck of cards, and liquid glue. The puppet can be easily made by gluing the back of the card onto the stick. Using a king from the deck, she can make a King Xerxes card also for the puppet show.
- Use the Internet to find a child-friendly (i.e., less violent) version of Queen Esther’s story, such as the children’s version online here. Another idea is to have your child recite a poem about Queen Esther, such as the one online at http://www.chabad.org/kids/article_cdo/aid/1368/jewish/Queen-Esther.htm.
- Your child may want to practice the poem or story with the puppets and then perform the Purim story or poem for an audience.
- You may also wish to provide a puppet theater stage. This can be anything for your puppet-master to hide behind; from a chair to an upside down cardboard box.
- This activity combines an easy craft, dramatic storytelling or poetry reading, and cultural education: a trifecta of fun!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.