THROUGHOUT HANUKKAH, enrich your family’s celebration by enjoying activities together as a group. Consider establishing a theme each night. A special effort each night will go a long toward deepening the family ritual.
In addition to the ideas below, don’t forget to read! Read a Hanukkah tale or two by candlelight. PJ Library offers a long list of Hanukkah-related children’s books from which to choose. With so many choices, you could a different book every night!
Here are some nightly themes to consider:
- DECORATION NIGHT — On the first night, decorate your home for Hanukkah with one or more of the crafting ideas offered by Creative Jewish Mom.
- MEMORY BOOK NIGHT — Begin a “scrapbook” to document your family Hanukkah experiences. Make the book, add photos and drawings, and begin the tradition of annual Hanukkah updating.
- SONG NIGHT — Circle round the Hanukkah lights and sing a few holiday classics. More adventurous singers might consider learning one of these “Top Ten Hanukkah Songs.”
- LATKE NIGHT — Even young children can pat-pat-pat latkes into patties. Read Kveller.com‘s “Not Your Mother’s Latkes” for some new latke ideas. Or, enjoy making traditional latkes. You can even try your hand at gluten-free and vegan latke varieties.
- COOKIE NIGHT — Put a Hanukkah twist on the classic sugar cookie.
- DREIDL NIGHT — Make a night out of spinning the top. Be creative and make your own origami dreidels or eraser clay dreidels. Read written directions for playing dreidl or watch a Shalom Sesame video about it.
- TZEDAKAH GELT NIGHT — Empty the tzedakah boxes in your home, collect some cash from all family members, or give your children money. Talk about the causes your family cares about, and decide whether you want to donate the money all to one place or to several. Perhaps do this while eating chocolate gelt?!
- MITZVAH NIGHT — Join with another family to visit a local senior facility or read a story to elderly neighbors. Consider having your children go through toy closets to pull out donations for the local family homeless shelter. Perhaps you could Skype with grandparents in order to light the candles together.