- Students will learn some of the cultural health and beauty treatments to have a better understanding of the context in Esther.
- Students will learn how to make and use their own sugar scrub to clean and exfoliate dead skin.
Guiding Question:How can we take good care of our skin beyond simply washing with soap and water?
Materials: coconut oil, sugar, essential oil, small jars or plastic bags to put sugar scrub in
Procedure: Review the story of Esther focusing on Esther’s preparation to see King Xerxes. Emphasize that it took many months (about 12) to prepare to go before the king, which meant that Esther had to demonstrate faith and patience for a long period of time. Explain the differences between working as an Israelite and life in the palace. The treatments were meant to nourish the skin and make it softer. Explain that our skin is constantly rejuvenating by shedding dead skin and making new cells. Dirt and grime can build up in between fingers and cuticles and harbor germs. One good way of getting rid of the dirt, germs and dead skin build-up is by exfoliating. Exfoliating is a deeper way to clean the skin. It is not necessary to do every day, but is good to do regularly. Sugar scrubs are a great way to exfoliate and you can add essential oils to them. Not only do they smell good, but essential oils are known to help your moods. Lemon and rosemary can energize you. Lavender helps you sleep. Cinnamon and citrus oils help you focus. Peppermint can keep you alert. Teachers often use mint and citrus in classrooms for this reason. Lead students in making their own sugar scrub. Mix the following ingredients together:
• 10 drops lemon or rosemary essential oil or 10-15 drops raspberry or vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
• 1/4 cup Coconut oil
Store at room temperature.
- What concerns and emotions might Esther have had during her time of preparation for the King? Despite the lavish attention, why did she need to be brave during this time too?
- What are some other ways of taking care of our skin?
Supplemental Activity: Teach students to serve by having them give their mom a foot massage with the sugar scrub. You will need fresh water, towels, and small tubs of water. Tell moms to arrive early to pick up their child and they can do it then. If the structure of your program does not allow for this activity on-site, have students use ribbons and stickers to decorate a gift bag or jar for their mom. Then they can do it at home.