Child Hanukkah activities
When you do crafts with your child Hanukkah will be extra special
With a few simple supplies, some time and your child Hanukkah will be fun for the whole family. Get your kids in the Hanukkah spirit with some fun Hanukkah activities and crafts.
If your children are preschoolers, keep it simple with an edible Hannukiah.
- Cheerios or Fruit Loops
- Creamy peanut butter
- Thin pretzel sticks
- Paper plates (2 for each child)
Give each child a cup of o-shaped cereal, 9 pretzel sticks and a generous tablespoon of peanut butter on one paper plate. Have them build 9 "candleholders" on the other plate using stacked cereal held together with peanut butter. Make sure one of the candleholders is taller than the rest. Insert one thin pretzel stick into each cereal tower to act as the candles. Once the kids have made their Hanukkiot, let them enjoy eating their beautiful, sticky creations!
Let school-aged children turn plain wooden dreidels into works of art.
For this project, you'll need:
- Unfinished wooden dreidels...the larger the better
- Fine sandpaper
- Tack cloth
- Non-toxic craft paints
- Paint brushes in assorted sizes
- Water cups for rinsing the brushes
- Empty foam egg cartons (one for every two children is a good idea)
- Judaic coloring books or coloring pages featuring Hanukkah symbols and images
- Spray-on glossy sealer (and an adult to use it)
Have each child lightly sand their entire dreidel, including edges. Use the tack cloth to remove any sandpaper dust or wood dust. Put a small amount of each color of paint in the bottom of each egg cup. Let the kids decide if there is a color they need more of to use as a base color, and add more to that cup. Give each child a water cup and access to a variety of paint brushes. Encourage them to decorate their dreidels as they choose, using the coloring pages as inspiration if needed. Once the dreidels are finished and completely dry, seal each one with a coat of glossy wood sealer. Once the sealer is dry (usually the next day), have a dreidel match, complete with M&M's, nuts or other small candies to use as the wagers.
Older children can turn ordinary objects into a work of art
Find an appealing retelling of the Hanukkah story, preferably one with lots of details. Before the project starts, have the kids take turns reading parts of the story to the group. This will get them involved in the story, and assure that the details are fresh in their minds.
Project supplies for each child include (multiply by the number of children):
- An inexpensive 8x10 frame with a wooden or heavy cardboard backing firmly attached (no glass)
- An assortment of fabric scraps, ribbon, hardware, keys, foil, broken jewelry, beads, small plastic and metal pieces, buttons, wire and other found or cast off materials
- Several magazines with lots of illustrations and photos
- Assorted paper scraps including maps, playing cards, tags, labels and/or scrapbook papers
- Adhesives for paper and for heavier objects (adult assistance may be needed for toxic or hot glues)
- Craft paint
- Paint brushes
With the Hanukkah story fresh in their minds, encourage the children to transform the found and scrap objects into a work of art that somehow reflects the Hanukkah story. Using the frame as a base, they can paint, arrange, collage, glue or wire an image that says something about the story. While they work, encourage them to talk about the story, what it means for us today, and how their art work is connected. You'll be amazed at the insights art can create.
Whether you have a school-aged or preschool child Hanukkah, with its bright candles and delicious foods is a wonderful time for making family memories. Share the story, these crafts and some tasty treats and make a new family memory during the Festival of Lights.