My family celebrates Hanukkah, and as my kids are getting a little bit older, they are discovering that we live in a sparkly world of Christmas, Santa, reindeer and beautifully decorated trees. This often leaves a Jewish mom thinking, “What am I to do?” My answer is to jam-pack your festive Hanukkah season with lots of fun and meaningful activities and traditions. While it’s true that Hanukkah isn’t a major holy holiday for us, I think it is important to make it just as fun-filled and festive as Christmas, so that our little ones get to experience that feeling of wonder and excitement, too. Below are some of my favorite Hanukkah activities that you can do with your kids to get into the spirit this year!
1. Give each of your children a special hanukiah (menorah) that is his/hers own to light, with an adult helper, of course. My two-year-old son has one shaped like a fire truck, my three-year-old daughter has one that looks like crayons, and my eldest daughter has a jeweled princess castle. Dim the lights and light your hanukiahs together each night for a truly magical celebration.
2. Let your kids help you decorate. My kids love to help me decorate, and we found these menorah and dreidel gel window clings at Target (which, by the way, Target gets an A+ for their Hanukkah department selection!). Kids can put these up on your windows and move them around every day for fun! It’s a great activity for kids of all ages!
3. Make latkes together! My kids love to help me cook, and having them help you make latkes (potato pancakes) is a great way to get them involved! Plus, what kid doesn’t love fried potatoes?
4. Make a washi tape menorah. This is a great activity for all ages and is also low on the mess scale! Buy lots of colorful washi tape and help your kids make their own menorahs. I followed this tutorial online to make ours, and now we have more beautiful Hanukkah decor to hang up around our house!
5. Make your own candles. Again, hats off to Target and their Handmade Modern Soy Candle Kit, as we enjoyed making our own candles this year to help us celebrate the Festival of Lights. The candle-making kit was relatively easy (with adult assistance). Kids of all ages can help stir the wax, mix in their chosen color combination and add the scent. This activity was a real hit, and I would definitely recommend it!