Happy Purim!

Today, Jewish folks all around the world are celebrating Purim.  It’s a day to remember the long-ago story of Esther, the girl who became Queen of Persia when King Xerxes picked her as his second wife.  Long story short, during her reign a sneaky villain of an advisor named Haman (who hated all Jews) convinced the king to sign an edict ordering the annihilation of all Jews in the land.  Esther had to go before the king uninvited, which could have meant death, and plead for her people.  The king, who didn’t know she was Jewish (nice, right?), was appalled at what he’d done.  The Jews were saved, Haman was killed, and God proved faithful once again.  Traditionally, to celebrate this holiday, the story is read aloud and people boo and hiss and use noisemakers to drown out Haman’s name every time it’s mentioned . . . it’s quite fun!  So, for Noah’s Bible time this morning, we decided our craft should be noisemakers!  Yay!

“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking.  You guys aren’t Jewish!  What’s the deal?  Well, several years ago, we started reading some books and participating in a Bible Study that led us to realize how much more we can understand our own Christian faith when we explore its Jewish roots.  Jesus was, after all, a Jew Himself.  The more we learn about the cultural and historical context of first century Israel, the more we understand what He taught and preached and how He lived.  If you’re interested, I have a little more explanation here.  Anyway, as a result of all that we started celebrating many of the Jewish holidays in addition to the ones we already have.  Soooo, that brings us back to homemade noisemakers!  Here’s the two kinds we made:

These are super easy, even for a 2 year old.  Classic VBS.
You’ll need:
– paper plates (heavy duty ones if you can!)
– crayons, markers, stickers, and any other decorations you’d like to use
– dry rice or beans
– streamers (optional)
– glue, stapler, scissors
STEP 1: Turn plate upside down and decorate.  Keep in mind that the plate will get folded in half.
STEP 2: Fold plate in half and crease.
STEP 3: Fill with dried rice or beans.  Noah put in about 4 large spoonfuls.  This was actually his favorite step. 
STEP 4: Put glue on the inside edge of one half and attach streamers if desired.
STEP 5: Staple along outer edge to seal. 
Now you’re ready to shake, shake, shake!  Noah made a bunch of them for his little buddies because we’re going to do this celebration again on Tuesday night with our Bible Study group.  It’s a great excuse to be noisy and eat pastries. 🙂 
A little trickier, a little messier, but oh so fun to shake!  They turned out really cool looking too!
You’ll need:
– empty tubes from TP or paper towels
– small squares of colored tissue paper
– aluminum foil
– rubber bands
– dried rice or beans
– Mod Podge or other liquidy glue
– large paintbrush
STEP 1: Brush Mod Podge onto a section of the tube and place colored tissue paper over top.  Repeat, overlapping colors until entire tube is covered.  I found that smaller squres worked and looked better for this project since the surface wasn’t very large.
STEP 2: Brush a coat of Mod Podge over entire tube to seal it. LET DRY!
STEP 3: When tube is dry, place foil square over one end and secure with rubber band.
STEP 4: Fill tube 2/3 full with rice or beans.
STEP 5: Cover other end with foil and secure with rubber band.  Shake!

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