Mar 25 2022 Purim Activities to Do With Your Grandchildren Ages 3–8
Categories:In Person, Jewish Values, Purim, Virtual
JGN Facebook member Andrea Gardner regularly shares practical and fun activities she does with her grandchildren. In this piece for our Purim newsletter Andrea writes about her planned activities for her grandchildren.
My grandchildren are four and six years old and these are some of the Purim activities we have planned. Perhaps you’ll pick up some ideas for your own young grandchildren.
Our ﬁrst Purim project will be making groggers. You don’t need much for this project — a small box or other container will work. We are using half-gallon plastic milk jugs because the handles seem like a good idea to make shaking them easy. We’ll add some beans to create the sound, then decorate the outside. Ideas for this would be paint, colored tape, Purim stickers (I found some on Etsy), and leftover ribbon, lace, yarn, etc. I’ll let the kids decide how much or little they want to decorate.
We will make hamantaschen, but given the attention span of this age group, I will make the dough and have the circles all cut out and ready on a tray so we will just have to ﬁll, press together, and bake. There are endless ideas for ﬁllings, from traditional prune and poppy seed to chocolate, caramel apple, Nutella, and even Camembert. My granddaughter is obsessed with unicorns at the moment, so I’m thinking of getting multicolored sprinkles and letting her decorate a bunch.
Now that they are older, I’ll explain Mishloach Manot (the Purim mitzvah of giving gifts of food to others) and we have chosen two elderly Jewish neighbors we will visit. In addition to the hamantaschen, I will give the children options of items to include in the packages, and I will purchase those items, looking for snack packs to keep things sanitary and simple. Some ideas are packaged dried fruit and small packages of crackers or biscuits. We’ll pack the items up in gift bags from the dollar store and deliver them as close to Purim as we can.
We will also fulﬁll the mitzvah of Matanot La’evyonim (gifts to the needy) by giving to the local food pantry; my idea is to take groceries rather than give money. I think a deeper meaning can be derived by explaining to the children that some people can’t buy all the food they need or want, and we will give items my grandchildren like to eat as treats. We’ll include little turkey sandwiches cut into triangles, along with tortilla chips to stick with the triangle theme. We will check first that our local food pantry accepts foods prepared at home. Or else we will share healthy packaged items. This way the grandkids can see the foods they really enjoy aren’t so easily available to all, but we can share because we are able to do that.
Seek out local Purim happenings at a local synagogue, if you can. Last year my Rabbi did driveway visits because of the pandemic. He brought a red carpet to place in each driveway he visited, he and a couple of his kids dressed up as friendly clowns, and my grandchildren had a great time!
Or live stream a family megillah reading. Do a search online — lots of options will come up. Dress up in simple costumes at home and boo and shake your groggers when you hear Haman’s name.
Whether you do these activities together in person or send the materials in the mail and do them on Zoom, I hope you enjoy doing something special with your grandchildren this Purim. What we do with our grandkids is less important than that we spend the time doing it with them. These will be the memories they will cherish for a lifetime, and hopefully share with their children and grandchildren on some distant Purim many years from now.
Andrea Gardner is a retired registered nurse. She is an Administrator on the Facebook page DES (Diethylstilbestrol) Info, which is a health-related page. She is passionate about photography. Her greatest joy is being Grandma to a 4- and 6-year-old. Andrea and her husband reside just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
Banner photograph by Andrea Gardner
Other photographs by Stephanie Fink