Here are some simple Games Ideas for Esther we came up with to reinforce the story, based on familiar games. These would probably work best in a smaller group of children (no more than 12-15). All you need is a toy/costume crown, and a CD player with some music.
King Ahasuerus Says (like Simon says)
- First, have the children name the different characters in the Esther story. If they can’t remember, help them at least name Esther, Mordecai, Hamen, and King Ahasuerus.
- Choose one child to be King Ahasuerus (let that child wear the crown). The King gets to give orders to everyone else. If the order starts with “King Ahasuerus says…” then everyone has to follow the order, and if they don’t, they’re out for that round. If the order does NOT start with “King Ahasuerus says…”, then everyone should NOT follow the order. If they do, they’re out for that round. The last person who is still in gets to be the next King Ahasuerus.
- Discussion: In real life, how do we know when it is right to do what someone else tells us to do? When should we disobey someone’s orders (ie, if we know what they’re telling us to do is wrong or would hurt someone).
Crown Compliment Game (like Hot potato)
- Have class stand in a circle. Someone holds the crown. Have them start passing the crown around the circle. Play music on CD player, and when you stop the music whoever is holding the crown puts it on his/her head.
- Everyone else has to tell the person wearing the crown something they like about them, or something that they are good at (give the “queen” compliments).
- Start the music again and continue passing the crown. Try to make sure that every child gets to be complimented at least once.
- Discussion: How did it feel to have other people notice what you are good at? What are some ways you can use your talents and special gifts to help others?
Tag game (like Duck, duck goose)
- Make sure all the kids know each others’ names
- Choose one kid to be “Haman.” Have other kids sit in a tight circle.
- “Haman” walks around the circle, gently tapping each person on the head and saying their name. Haman chooses one kid to call “Esther” instead of his/her real name. That child gets up and chases Haman around the circle. Haman tries to get back to “Esther”’s place in the circle and sit down before Esther tags him/her. (Make sure kids know that in this game, it doesn’t matter what gender “Esther” and “Haman” are).
- If Esther tags Haman, then Haman has to repeat the process (walking around the circle tapping each person and choosing a new Esther). If Esther does not tag Haman before Haman makes it back to her original spot, then Esther becomes the new Haman and starts a new round.
- Discussion: Ask children who were tapped to be Esther if they were happy or unhappy when they were chosen. In real life, do we always like it when we are chosen to do something that is hard? Give some examples of things you are asked to do that may be difficult (ie, chores, homework, school presentations, etc.). Why do you think we should do these things, even if we may be reluctant?