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Purim Games You Can Play At Home

posted on Jan 21 2021

by Eva Casey, Marketing & Engagement Strategist

Purim is coming soon, and even though we won't be celebrating in-person this year, we can still bring in the liveliness of the holiday from the safety of our homes. As an educational theater company, we appreciate the more theatrical elements of Purim, and we've put together some fun Purim games you can play at home.

1. What's Dat? with Haman's Hat

This game turns a simple object - a three-cornered hat - into anything your imagination can think of!

How it Works...

  • Take your three-cornered hat and ask your child to show you what it's used for.
  • Then ask them to show you what else they could use it for and mime demonstrating that use.
  • After your child comes up with an alternate use, it's your turn!
  • Keep playing until no one can think of another use.
  • If playing with an older child, you can make it trickier by giving them 15 seconds to name and demonstrate as many alternate uses for Haman's hat as they can.

2. Unscramble Purim

This game doubles as a way to teach your kids about the story of Purim, and test older kids' knowledge they've picked up from Hebrew School.

How it Works...

  • First, tell the story of Purim. We love using PJ Library books like The Mystery Bear, by Leone Adelson, or Raisel's Riddle, by Erica Silverman. Or you can check out this abridged Purim story for younger children.
  • Using index cards or anything else you have handy, write down the different parts of the Purim story that your child remembers.
  • Then, scramble up the cards and lay them out in random order. To incite giggles, you could read them off in the wrong order.
  • Have older kids work by themselves to put the cards back in the right order. Younger kids will probably need an adult or older sibling to help out.
  • Once the cards are in the right order, retell the story in the correct order.

3. Purim Here to There

Once everyone is familiar with the Purim story, it's time to really dive in!

Have kids line up on one side of the room and move across the space exploring different settings and characters in the Purim story. Whether marching like soldiers, moving like Mordechai, or masquerading through a costume ball, kids will have a blast experiencing the motions of the Purim story.

Move like...

...Mordechai, old and kind, helping people along the way
...King Ahashveryos, counting money and looking for love
...Haman, greedy and slick
...someone nervous on the way to meet the king at a costume ball
...soldiers, ready for the defense

4. Slideshow

In this game, you're taking a field trip through the story of Purim and will be creating "photos" explaining your trip. As you tell the story, pause and freeze in a way that reflects the scene you just described.

Bonus Points: To really get into the Purim spirit, dress up as the different characters in the Purim story.

Here's a photo of...

...everyone at a huge party that lasted 7 days
...the king trying to decide between a bunch of people in wacky costumes
...Mordechai refusing to bow to Haman
...Esther asking the king to save the Jewish people

5. Purim Character Interviews

Have kids with big imaginations? Allow them the opportunity to dig into some of the characters from the Purim story.

Bonus Points: If you have budding filmmakers at home, give them the opportunity to make their interviews into a little home video!

  • First, encourage kids to come up with their own character, either a person from the Purim play or someone else that may have been there.
  • Have them brainstorm everything about their character - their likes, dislikes, etc. Or they can use our Character Development Sheet, below.
Character Development Sheet
  • Now it's time for the fun part - dressing up! Purim is all about getting in costume, so go all out!
  • You can play the interviewer, or have an older kid step into the role. Ask each character a series of questions, reporter style.
Interview Questions to Ask...

...What do you think of insert character from Purim story?

...What is your favorite part of celebrating Purim?

...What flavor of Hamentaschen is your favorite?

...Who is your best friend? What do you like to do together?

6. Mad-Lib Improv Purim-Style

Ever played Mad-Libs? It's a family favorite on road trips for a reason. Get silly with this creative re-telling of the Purim story.

How it Works...

  • Tell the Purim story with blanks in it for characters, emotions, adjectives, etc.
  • You could also write out your OWN Mad-Libs sheet if you have more time.
  • Have everyone volunteer to fill-in-the-blank throughout the story.
  • Continue until the entire Mad-Lib is complete.
  • Re-tell the Purim story, now using your own version. Let the laughter ensue.

Looking for a way to celebrate Purim virtually?

Learn more about our Virtual Performances and Family Fun Nights
Eva Casey

posted on Jan 21 2021

by Eva Casey

At mainstages, Eva focuses on social media, digital content creation, and brand management. As a teaching artist, she specializes in devised work, improv, and musical theatre. Eva currently also teaches as a private voice and piano instructor.