How to Make a Grogger for Purim

by Lesley Barker

Items you will need

  • 1 cardboard core from a toilet paper roll
  • 1 piece of sandpaper
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • 1 popsicle sticks
  • 1 emory board
  • Craft glue
  • 1/3 cup of dried pinto (or other) beans

Purim commemorates the downfall of Haman who nearly managed to wipe out the Jews of the ancient Persian empire under King Ahasuerus. The Book of Esther gives the story and is the central focus of the Purim celebrations. Children enjoy dressing up as the characters, Esther, her uncle Mordecai, the King and the "vile" Haman. The entire ten chapter book is read aloud as a participatory melodrama. The audience claps and cheers whenever Esther or Mordecai is named but it boos and uses groggers to make loud noise whenever the villain, Haman, is named. Here is how to make a grogger using seeds, sandpaper and Popsicle sticks.

Step 1

Turn the sandpaper so that the rough part faces down. Place the toilet paper roll so that it stands on the sand paper. Trace around the circular end of the roll. Then draw a larger circle that shares the same center-point and is about 1/4 inch bigger than the first. Cut out the large circle. Then cut little snips at 1/4 inch intervals all around the circle from the outer edge of the circle into and touching but not cutting through the outline of the smaller circle. Make a second piece that is exactly the same. Tape one of the circles (sandpaper side facing OUT) to one end of the toilet paper roll. The little snips allow you to fold the sand paper over the circular opening and onto the outside of the cylinder. Save the second circle for later.

Step 2

Pour 1/3 cup of dried pinto (or other) beans into the toilet paper roll.

Step 3

Place one Popsicle stick into the toilet paper roll so that it touches one side and sticks out like a handle. Make sure that at least two inches of the stick are on the inside of the roll. Use craft glue to attach the stick to the cardboard. Hold the stick gently until it is dry enough to stay in place.

Step 4

Fold down two of the snips that you cut in the second sand paper circle so that when you place this on the open end of the roll- the one that has the popsicle stick--these flaps fit inside the roll and touch the stick. Place a small dot of glue on both of these flaps where they will touch the stick. Tape the other flaps to the outside edge of the roll like you did the first circle. Now the grogger is like a closed rattle that you can hold by the stick.

Step 5

Cut out a piece of sand paper so that it is large enough to cover the toilet paper roll. Measure the same way you would to wrap a cardboard cylindar with wrapping paper. Line the smooth side of the sand paper with glue. Then wrap the roll so that it is entirely covered with sand paper with the rough side facing out..

Step 6

Use your grogger whenever the name, Haman, is mentioned at a Purim celebration. Rattle it with the stick. Scratch it with the emery board. Make loud, horrible sounds to remind everyone how evil this plot really was. Of course, you can add ribbons and other decorations to your grogger if you want to.

About the Author

Lesley Barker, director of the Bolduc House Museum, authored the books "St. Louis Gateway Rail—The 1970s," published by Arcadia, and the "Eye Can Too! Read" series of vision-related e-books. Her articles have appeared in print and online since the 1980s. Barker holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Washington University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Webster University.