How to celebrate this joyful, costume-wearing, noisemaking holiday
Though Kveller finds the fun in almost every Jewish holiday, Purim really is at the top of the list. You dress up in costumes, yell in synagogue when you hear them say the bad guy's name (Haman!), eat hamantaschen cookies, and there is something in the Talmud about being so drunk that you don't know the difference between the good guys (Mordechai and Esther) and the bad guy (Haman).
So while the parents are busy drinking, the kids can enjoy these more creative forms of entertainment.
Read: When It's Purim
A great introduction to the celebrations of the holiday can be found in When It's Purim, by Edie Stoltz Zolkower. This simple story is perfect for even the littlest children, and will make all of you want to get your hamantaschen-making on!
Sing: My Hat It Has Three Corners
There are a lot of Purim songs out there. Maybe the most well-known is the song about Haman's three-cornered hat called Le Kova Sheli, or My Hat It Has Three Corners. It's a great song to do with little kids, especially with these easy hand motions. We like the version on The Complete Jewish Kids' Party, Volume 5, by David and the High Spirit. Though not all the songs on this album are specifically Jewish, they're upbeat and quite perfect for a day when you need a real dance party.
But a new favorite of ours is Latke Hamantaschen Debate by Rabbi Joe Black. His back-and-forth lyrics detailing the argument for supremacy between hamantaschen and latke are toe-tapping and finger-snapping. We won't tell you who wins—you'll have to listen and find out.
Make: Mishloach Manot
One of the mitzvot of Purim is to make little gift bags called mishloach manot that you can distribute to friends and family. We're fans of a holiday that mandates sharing—what a great value to teach to your kids, even if they don't agree. The rabbis mandated sending these gifts both to help make the Jewish people all get along better (because giving gifts definitely helps you make friends), and also to be sure we were taking care of the needy. You'll find that your kids will love decorating their mishloach manot, and getting to choose the treats that they'll give out. Here's an easy and fun way to make your own mishloach manot and spread some Purim cheer.
At this time of year, it's all about hamantaschen--delicious three-cornered cookies that resemble Haman's hat (or his ear, depending on who you talk to). Though traditionally they're filled with poppy seed or prune filling, we like to throw some excitement in the mix and add some chocolate chips—or even peanut butter—now and again.