Celebrating Purim With Kids

One of the most lively, happy and fun Jewish holidays of the year is here—Purim. Here are some ideas on how to mark the occasion with little ones

The story of Purim is about the Jewish people escaping a plot set to destroy them. In kid language, there are kings and queens, hidden identities and a movie-worthy villian. Typically kids boo and make noise when his name is mentioned in the story. Purim is also, unofficially referred to as "Jewish Halloween," as it is an occasion for costume-wearing and treats. On a serious note, there are many important lessons and themes as part of the holiday that make for good talking points: freedom, discrimination, and giving to those in need. Here are some ideas of how to mark the holiday with your kids.

Bake Hamantaschen together

These triangular cookies are the most notable Purim-specific snack. Filled with preserves, poppy seeds, or even chocolate, they're fun to make (and fun to eat, and share). Check out this recipe from Toriavey for how to make them just right.

Make a Grogger

Make a fun noise-maker as part of your Purim celebrations, either to use while telling the story, or on its own. The nice thing about these is that they'll continue to be a fun toy long after the holiday is done. Try Design Megillah or Creative Jewish Mom for ideas on how to make yours.

Prepare food baskets

There is a tradition of making baskets of food to give to friends. In modern days, they don't have to be baskets necessarily. Anything you can package in a mason jar or other portable container will do the trick. Kosher on a Budget has put together some of their picks for you to get inspiration from. (Our favourite is this great movie night themed option!)

Read the story aloud

So much of Purim is the story itself. And while a serious historical event, the story itself is a fun one for kids to follow and reads quite like a fairy tale would. Reading the Purim story works especially well with a group of children, so they can join in for the booing and cheering. Joyful Jewish has a good kid-accessible version of the story.

Wear costumes

You may not be parading through the streets or invited to a related masquerade, per se, but that's no reason not to don a costume as so many celebrating do. Use Halloween costumes, or make something new—Kveller has put together a list of particularly easy costumes to make at home, some related to the occasion and some not.

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