Celebrating Purim with Shalom Sesame: Costumes

In addition to reading the Book of Esther and baking hamantaschen, costumes, merrymaking, carnivals, parades, and Purim spiels (humorous skits) are all part of the joyous tradition of Purim.

Together with your children, watch the Shalom Sesame videos to learn about how Purim is celebrated. Then try some of the suggested discussion ideas and activities recommended by Reform Jewish educators to reinforce the lessons in the videos. If you wish, share your experiences and ideas in the comments section!

Discussion Ideas

No rain on this parade! It's no mystery why kids get excited about Purim. After all, it's the one Jewish holiday where you get to dress up as whatever you want! On Purim we are remembering a time when the Jewish people overcame a great hardship, so we celebrate with fun costumes, loud noisemakers, and delicious cookies. Watch the video below about how one Israeli boy celebrates the holiday by going to a festive parade with his family. Encourage your kids to get into the festive mood by thinking about what makes them happy, and ways they can make others happy, too.


Send in the clowns. Who doesn't like to dress up and make some friends and family giggle? One of the mitzvot of Purim is that it is to be joyful. Put on a silly fashion show with your kids, using only certain materials (i.e. recycled newspapers, parent's clothing, mismatched outfits). If you really want to get the creative juices flowing, ask them to dress up like other family members and try to guess who's who. This activity will bring out the goofy fashion designer in everyone!

Together with your child, read The Purim Costume  by Penninah Schram. In this warm, contemporary tale, the complete story of Purim is framed by the experience of a modern-day child, Rebecca, who is tired of always dressing up as Queen Esther. Her mother suggests many other options, but none appeals to Rebecca. Finally, her mother suggests she dress up as Vashti. As Rebecca considers this unusual option and listens to the story of Purim at the spiel, she comes to realize just how important a character was Vashti.


Eli’s Purim
An Israeli boy dresses up like an elephant and goes out to celebrate Purim…

Be Happy, It’s Purim!
Anneliese learns how Purim is celebrated and agrees to host the annual Rechov Sumsum Purim show.

Purim Street Parade
The streets of Israel are flooded with celebration and color when Purim comes. Everyone comes out to join in the cheer and now you can participate, too, by watching this great clip!

For more Shalom Sesame videos, activities, and other materials, visit our friends at Shalom Sesame.