This week, we will study the story of Esther found in the book of Esther. Esther lived when the Israelites were exiled in Persia. Some of the key points we will learn are:
- God is always at work even when we don’t see Him.
- God knows the plans of the wicked and will judge them.
- God uses ordinary people for amazing things.
- We need faith to speak out for God when He asks us.
Esther Lesson Guide
Remind the child that when Esther lived, her people were in captivity. Talk about how captivity means that they could not go where they wanted to go and lived in a land far from their own. Point out that Esther was an ordinary Jewish girl.
Talk about how God has a plan even when we can’t see it. Select a large picture, perhaps from a calendar. One that is zoomed in would be best. Cut a very small hole out of a piece of thick paper. Without the child seeing, place the paper with the hole in it over the large picture. Ask the child if they know what the picture is. Allow them to guess. After each guess, tear the hole a little bit bigger until the child guesses what the photo is. Make sure to pick a photo the child will understand. For younger children, you may want to speed up the process by making the hole bigger quicker. For older children, you may choose to do more than one photo.
As you play the photo game, talk about how we humans can only see a very small part of what is happening. Point out that God can see the whole picture all at once. Talk about how this is true for both Christians who are obeying God and wicked people who are trying to hide the bad things they do. Remind the child that although we may think something bad has happened, God means it for good. Read Genesis 50:20 together, and, if possible, memorize it.
Talk about how God can use ordinary people when they follow His leading. Think about a time when the Lord perhaps opened the door for you to witness. Remind the child that no one has to be rich or famous to do what God asks. God is pleased when people follow His word. Play a game of Simon Says. Talk with your child about how, just as in the game, we need to do things when God says.
If the child is old enough, you can play a game where you offer the child a chance to discern whether or not something is what God says. For example, “God says, obey your parents.” Ask the child if God said that or not. You may also say, “God says stealing is okay.” Allow the child to select whether he thinks God says that or not. You can then talk about the child’s responses, and whether they were correct or not.
Think of an opportunity when you and your child can speak out for God. Perhaps coloring pictures with verses on them to hand out to friend or family. You may also choose to create Christmas card with verses or nativity scenes to remind people of the true meaning of Christmas. You can perhaps do something for a nursing home or other opportunity to share God’s word.
Share how Esther was willing to lose her life to save the lives of her people. Explain how Jesus’ gave his life that we can have eternal life. Pray with your child, and thank God that He has a plan in everything. Ask Him to help you find ways you can serve Him better and tell others the Good News.
Printable Bible Story
Free printable Bible story of Esther. Ideal to use a bedtime story or lesson review. Glue back to back and fold into book.
Games and Activities
Hamantaschen are a triangular pastry associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim, where they remember how God used Esther to save the Jewish people.
Traditionally they resemble the three-cornered hat worn by Haman, and the three corners of the Hamantaschen represent one of the “fathers” of Judaism—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are easy to make, use a circle cutter, fill with your favorite filling (Jam, Chocolate, poppy seeds, etc.), fold, and bake. There are loads of recipes online, search for one your kids would love and have fun baking.
Time across the room
The game will probably take a couple of goes to get right, but it’s excellent for teaching preschoolers about time and fast vs. slow.
Have them try to walk or run across a room in x number of seconds. You can count for them as they walk or for older children have them count aloud alone.
The ideal is that if you say 10 seconds, they will arrive on the other side when you count to 10, not 9 or 11. Speak about how God’s timing is always perfect. Remind them of Esther 4:14
Who am I? – helpers.
Help your child think about people who help them. Give descriptions of people who help, and the child must guess who you are describing.
For example: I am a special helper who…. helps when there is an emergency. I drive a big truck with a ladder. I put out fires, … Remind the children how Esther helped the Jewish people and how God always helps us.
Bible Coloring Pages
Noise Maker – Esther Bible Craft
It is a Jewish tradition that at Purim, as they read the story of Esther, children shake noisemakers whenever they hear Haman’s name. You could use this idea with this week’s story. Make the craft first, and then have your children listen carefully and make a noise whenever they hear Haman.
What you need:
- 1 Kitchen roll tube.
- The template page,
- 2 elastic bands,
- Baking paper (wax paper),
- Coloring pencils,
- Sticky tape.
- Rice, beans or beads.
What to do:
- Color in the template.
- Attach baking paper to one side of the kitchen roll tube with the elastic band.
- Fill the tube with rice, beans, or beads.
- Close tube by attaching baking paper with an elastic band to the open side.
- Tape the template page around the tube.
- Tape ends down to fit the tube. (as when wrapping a gift).