223 & 224 - A new queen is chosen & Plot against the Jews


15 minute Story planner

Esther 1–4
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories pages by Mary Batchelor 256 and 257

After the Babylonians captured the Judeans they took them away from their homeland. They took them to Babylonia. Sometime later the Persians invaded Babylonia. At that time the Judeans were called Jews or Jewish people. For many years the Jews lived in Babylonia. King Xerxes, the King of Persia, was in charge. 

1. Setting the scene  - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to eight

2. Starter question - 1 min  
How long does it take you to get ready in the mornings? Get dressed… three minutes. Brush your teeth… one minute. Comb your hair… half a minute. Shoes on…  another thirty seconds. Five minutes… done!  Could you imagine taking six months to get ready? That would mean if you started today you wouldn’t be finished until next spring. A long, long time ago King Xerxes wanted to find a new queen. Girls were chosen from across the land, but before they were presented to the King they were given a beauty treatment – the treatment lasted six months! 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the soap and cosmetic products used in this activity.

  • Dressing-up crown
  • Cotton wool balls
  • Cleanser, toner etc. 
  • Soap and flannel
  • Perfume
  • Hair brushes
  • Jewellery
  • Scarves 
  • A small bag of coins
  • ‘Go to him and plead for us’ message  (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - A game with cotton wool balls
You will need lots of cotton wool balls, teaspoons, masking tape and a pen

1. Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor – this will be your start line. At about 50 cm from your start line stick a second strip of masking tape parallel to the first. Write ‘100 points’ on the strip. At about 50 cm from your second line, stick a third strip. Write ‘200 points’ on this strip. Repeat this again so that you have three parallel lines. Write ‘300 points’ on the third strip.
2. Tell the story using the props listed above then play the following game.
3. Encourage the children to sit behind the start line.
4. Demonstrate how to catapult a cotton wool ball off a teaspoon by holding the handle of the spoon then pulling the top of the spoon back with your other hand. Quickly release the top of the spoon (keeping hold of the handle). The cotton wool ball should be catapulted forwards. If this is too difficult for the children, experiment with alternative ways of ‘throwing’ the cotton wool balls using a spoon.
5. Record the number of points the children score - a cotton wool ball that lands between the second and third strip scores 100 points.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about the story. We picture Esther in her fine robes living in the palace. We remember that people noticed not only her beauty but that she was kind and gentle too. Father help us to remember that being kind and gentle is more important than looking smart or wearing fabulous clothes. 

Father we picture Mordecai waiting outside the palace for news of his cousin. We remember that he wanted to warn the king about the evil plot. Father help us to be people that are not only concerned about our friends and family but about the welfare of others too.  

Finally Father, we remember that Mordecai refused to bow down to Hamman and would not give in to his angry threats. Father help us to be like Mordecai - help us to make good and wise choices even when those around us are trying to persuade us to do otherwise. Help us to turn to you in prayer when we face difficult decisions and to remember that you are always with us; you never leave us on our own.  Amen

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.  

Alongside this story, make the craft...

Print Friendly and PDF