Whether you celebrate Hanukkah with your family or want to teach your children about other cultures and their holidays, here are five simple yet fun Hanukkah activities for kids.
1. Read books about Hanukkah
Sometimes the best way to learn about something new is to read a book. Check out an exciting picture book about Hanukkah from the library and read it with your kids a few days before the holiday begins. The book Maccabee! The Story of Hanukkah is one great example – it will entertain your kids and teach them about the history of Hanukkah. After reading the book, your children will know the reasons behind the candles on the menorah and the length of the holiday.
2. Cook latkes together
Many holidays are celebrated in part with traditional and symbolic food, and Hanukkah is no exception. Fried foods, including latkes (potato pancakes), jelly-filled doughnuts, and loukoumades (deep-fried puffs dipped in honey), are cooked and consumed during the holiday to remember the oil that lasted for eight days. Cooking with your kids is always a fun (and messy) activity, so try cooking latkes with them using this recipe.
3. Play the dreidel game
The dreidel is a spinning toy that is traditionally made of wood but also comes in plastic versions. It has a letter from the Hebrew alphabet on each of its four sides. The dreidel game is a simple gambling game that is traditionally played with chocolate coins, or gelt, and is one of the most popular Hanukkah activities for kids.
4. Craft a menorah
Doing something with your hands while learning something new helps cement acquired knowledge in little minds. When you teach your kids about the history behind the symbol of the menorah, you could make a beautiful menorah with your kids using embossing foil and glass votive holders.
5. Play with Hanukkah helpers
You’ve probably heard of The Elf on the Shelf for Christmas, but there’s also a Hanukkah version: Hanukkah Helpers. These cute little dolls are dressed in blue outfits and partake in fun adventures during the night. Your kids will love finding what they’re up to when they wake up in the morning.
Looking for ideas for decorating your home for the holidays? Here is some mantel decorating inspiration for Hanukkah as well as Christmas.