Games and Activities for a Purim Carnival
The story of Purim comes from the biblical book of Esther; it commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in Persia were saved from extermination. As the story goes, King Ahasuerus was manipulated by his aide Haman into ordering a massacre of the Jewish people. They are saved by the courageous young queen Esther, who reveals her Jewish identity to the king and pleads for the salvation of her people. The word Purim is derived from "lots" because Haman cast a lot or 'pur' to determine when to kill the Jews.To celebrate this triumphant holiday, people traditionally wear masks and dress in costumes.
So put on your best costume, grab your graggers (noisemakers), bake some hamentaschen (traditional triangle-shaped cookies that represent Haman's hat) and check out these Purim game ideas. See our Carnival Game Ideas page for more games that you can adapt to your theme.
If you have more games for this theme, we would love to hear from you. We have included some links at the bottom of this page with more information on Purim.
A Trip Through Israel
Make a mini golf course that travels around a giant map of Israel.
Dig For Treasure in the Negev
Hide small prizes in a tub of sand. Players dig until they uncover a prize.
Throwing Sponges At Haman
Paint a backboard with a Haman face. Players try to hit the face with wet sponges.
Blow up balloons and draw "Haman" faces on them. Attach the balloons to a backboard such as drywall or thick Styrofoam. Players try to "pop Haman" with darts.
Make a plywood cutout of Esther's head, or use a mannequin head. Players try to toss a plastic crown to ring around Esther's head.
Have a "beauty parlor" offering wild hair colors, face painting, and tattoos.
Negev Sand Art
Have a sand art craft booth.
An important and traditional feature of Purim are the fun costumes.
Set up a craft booth where the kids can decorate cardboard crowns with glitter, plastic gems, and stickers.
For More Information:
Web Sites to Explore:
Purim Around the World:
Recipes for Purim:
Crafts for Purim:
Planning a Purim Carnival: