Fun Craft Kits for Hanukkah, The Festival of Lights
Every year when it is time for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, I like to shop for special craft items for my class to use to make gifts and cards for their families. Over the years, there has been marked improvement in the choices available. With my older daughter, when I wanted to make Hanukkah crafts at home, it was hard to find anything in the stores, and the internet was in its infancy. I was left to creating what I could out of household items and teaching templates.Credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net
Photo by digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net
Things are so much different now than they were back in the late 1990’s. As a Hebrew School teacher, there are so many items I can buy for my students so they can craft during the holiday season that I could spend a small fortune. My younger children have also benefited from the plethora of craft supplies that are now available for them to use. We have spent many days together when they were younger making personal gifts for members of our family.
Here are some of the craft kits that you can use during the holiday season.
Why Make Hanukkah Crafts?
One of my favorite book series is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. In the sixth book of the series, The Long Winter, Laura manages to make Christmas presents for her family from the yarn and fabric scraps they have around the house where they live. At the end of the book, when the Christmas barrel arrives many months later, Ma give Laura all of the beautiful crafting materials inside, as she used all of her things up to make things for the family.
This is how it used to be. Gifts were made by hand and were given from the heart. Even today, when we can easily purchase a gift card or ready made item, crafting serves many purposes.Credit: Photo by HannahGold
Photo by Hannah Gold
Crafting saves money! When you sit down to make something, you are not in the stores or online shopping and spending money that you do not have.
Busy hands also are not eating because they are bored. It is a great way to save calories!
Sitting down and crafting with your children is quality time with your child. They won’t remember that toy your bought them and then got bored with it, but they will remember the times you spent together doing something they wanted to do.
Making something by hand also teaches children the valuable lesson that love doesn’t come from a big box store…it can come from their own two hands. Many grandparents already have enough stuff in their house and do not need anything more. But a keepsake made from their grandchild is priceless.
The Hanukkah Menorah or Chanukiyah
Hanukkah is known as “the Festival of Lights”. We light a hanukkah menorah or chanukiyah each night at sundown for eight consecutive nights. This is to remind Jews of the miracle of the oil, when one night lasted for eight.
Here are some Hanukkah craft kits that children would love to receive.Credit: Photo by HannahGold
This box of Hanukkah foam shapes are so easy for kids to use. They are peel and stick-no messy glue to use! My preschool and first grade classes use these each year for an assortment of cards an other projects that I do with them.
Baking is Crafting, Too!
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They can also create their own icing and make each sweet treat stand on its own with different decorations.
This kit will help your child create the perfect Hanukkah cupcake!
Do You Have a Little Dreidel?
If you want to make the music director of my synagogue meshugana (crazy) during the Hanukkah season, just hum the Dreidel Song near her. It drives her nuts because non-Jews think that this is the only Hanukkah song around, and there is nothing further from the truth! Contemporary Jewish music is filled with pop songs and beautiful ballads that tell the tale of this holiday in a meaningful way that kids and adults can appreciate.
The Dreidel Song is popular because this is one of the iconic symbols of the holiday. The dreidel is a top that has four sides, each with a Hebrew letter, Nun, Gimmel, Hay and Shin. The letters stand for the Hebrew phrase Nes Gadol Haya Sham, which means in English "A great miracle happened there." In Israel, the Shin is replaced with the letter Po (the Hebrew letter Pay) because the miracle happened in Israel, and Po means "here" in English.
The dreidel game is easy to play. Everyone starts off with a bunch of coins or other small objects to be used to put into the "pot" (middle). Everyone puts on item in the pot and then the person spins the dreidel. Depending on the letter, the person has to do the following:
Nun-You get nothing
Gimmel-You get everything in the pot
Hay-The player gets half the pot. If in the case of an odd number, the player gets the greater amount.
Shin-Every player puts one item in the pot.
When you are out of coins or chips, then you are out of the game. The winner is the person who has all of the coins from everyone!
If you are a Hebrew School teacher or want a fun craft to have at you family Hanukkah party, then why not have each child paint his or her own dreidel? This set from S&S WOrldwide has 24 wooden dreidels ready for painting. If children are young and cannot write the aleph bet easily, then use aleph bet stickers to place on each dreidel once it is dry.
Hanukkah Bracelet Craft Kits
If you are having an all girls party or have some girls on your Hanukkah gift list, this make your own Hanukkah bracelet kit comes with enough charms and beads to make two bracelets.
Children who celebrate Christmas have an Advent calendar. Jewish children can make this Happy Hanukkah countdown craft and cut off a chain for each day before Hanukkah for eight days. It comes with 12 sets.
Make Your Own Hanukkah Candles
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