Queen Esther is honoured for her courage. She was a Jewish orphan who was raised in Persia by her cousin, Mordecai. Having heard about King Ahasuerus' plan to kill all the Jews in the Persian Empire, she invited Haman, the king's prime minister, to dinner to expose the plot. She is celebrated each year during the Jewish Feast of Purim. Invite children to honour Esther with craft projects that help tell her story.
Queen Esther's Crown
Cut a crown from of piece of poster board -- this will resemble a length of picket fence which is then wrapped around the child's head and taped. Children can decorate crowns with markers, glitter pens and sequins. It is easier for children to decorate their crowns before taping the ends of the crown together.
Children can make food from clay and set out a banquet in honour of Esther and the dinner at which she exposed King Ahasuerus' murderous plot. Children can roll self-hardening clay into the shapes of fruit, bread and vegetables and paint them with acrylic paint. A final coat of acrylic medium will add shine and preserve them for future use in celebratory feasts of Purim.
Graggers are noisemakers that people use at the mention of Prime Minister Haman's name. People boo and hiss and stomp their feet and shake their graggers to make a lot of noise. Children can make graggers with easy-to-find materials from around the house. Give each child a clean, dry margarine or yoghurt container and let each child add a few dried beans, pennies, washers, jingle bells, stones or plastic beads -- anything that makes a loud rattling sound when shaken. Replace the lid with a bead of glue ensuring the lid is securely sealed. Let children decorate the outside of their gragger with stickers and coloured paper.
Masks and the topic of concealed identity -- especially Esther's hidden Jewish heritage -- are part of Purim. Children can make masks by drawing faces on cardstock or the underside of paper plates, cutting them out and having an adult help to secure a piece of ribbon on each side.