Have you ever packed for a trip and forgotten something really important? In PJ Library book Nonna’s Hanukkah Surprise, Rachel accidentally forgets her menorah during a visit with her cousins and grandmother. Luckily, handy Nonna, Rachel’s grandmother, whips up a special menorah that helps the whole family learn about Hanukkah together. If you’d like to make your own menorah too, here are some ideas.
Related: Hanukkah Books for Interfaith Families
image via BibleBeltBalabusta
This is just too cool--it’s a Menorah-saurus! Upcycle an old dinosaur toy or grab a figurine from the dollar store to make this unique gift for the aspiring paleontologist in your house. With a little paint, some time with a power drill, and a few birthday candle holders, you’re good to go. We know a LOT of grownups who would like this for their home too. And if you're not ready to make your own, you can get a ready-made T-Rex menorah from ModernTribe.
MINT TIN MENORAH
image via Bible Belt Balabusta
If you’re traveling for the holidays you may not have room to pack a traditional menorah. This activity, also from Bible Belt Balabusta, features a fun how-to for building a mini-menorah that fits right into a coat pocket. This kind of craft is very appealing to older kids and provides a travel-sized conversation piece for kids to chat about Hanukkah and introduce the holiday to friends from other backgrounds.
SEWING SPOOL MENORAH
image via Parents.com
If your kids like to paint, this is an activity for you. You can grab spools from your local craft store, or, if you sew at home, you can reuse and recycle what you’ve got on hand.
Since fire and small children can be a nerve wracking combination, here are some suggestions that will let small children “light” the menorah without involving any flames too:
TEA LIGHT TOT MENORAH
image via Instructables
This tutorial from Instructables makes use of battery operated tea lights so that little hands can help. Toddlers can drop a tealight into one of the jars to “light” their own candles during Hanukkah.
BUILDING BLOCK MENORAH
image via ModernTribe
Let little ones build and "light" their menorah by using building blocks or a wooden play set. These types of toys are also fantastic for problem solving and fine motor skills and are a big hit with any little puzzle lovers. The cute version shown above is available from ModernTribe. You can find lots of other cute kid-friendly menorah there too.
image via Momfluential
Glowsticks are plentiful at most dollar stores. This activity requires basically no crafting skills and will be a hit with older kids as well. We still don't know why they love glowsticks so much.
image via Scrumdilly-do
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, consider this fun clothespin menorah with felt flames from Scrumdilly-do. Each night children can top one of the clothespins with a felt flame. If you’re short on time and can’t sew the felt flame covers, stickers or construction paper flames with tape will work just as well.
And finally, for those without the time to do heavy duty crafting, you can also "light" a virtual menorah online or using an app.
For more fun ideas, see Kveller’s Three DIY Menorahs You Can Make for Under $15.
Looking for more great story ideas to pair with these activities? We suggest Sadie’s Almost Marvelous Menorah, Melly’s Menorah and The Eight Menorah.
Looking for another way to share some light this season? Make a special glow-in-the-dark path to welcome guests, highlight the route to your menorah, or just add some flare to your neighborhood. You'll only need a few supplies. This activity is also a really fun craft to do with a group or as part of a get together.
Find Hanukkah activities, recipes, story ideas, and more on the
PJ Library Hanukkah hub.
November 21, 2018