Build a Menorah - FamilyEducation

Build a Menorah

by Trish Kuffner, author of The Preschooler's Busy Book

This activity will show you how to build a Hanukkah menorah at home.

A menorah consists of nine candles, one for each day of Hanukkah, and one, called the shammash, used to light the other candles.

  • 9 empty thread spools
  • Playdough
  • Large birthday candles
  • Aluminum foil (optional)


  1. Make a Hanukkah menorah using nine empty thread spools to hold the candles.
  2. If the candles are a little loose, use some playdough to make them fit snugly.
  3. If you want to make the menorah more festive, cover the spools with aluminum foil.
  4. Since a menorah can be any shape or size, use your imagination. Your preschooler can insert candles into playdough or modeling clay that he has shaped into a pleasing design.
  5. Try standing candles in a shoe box lid filled with sand, or drill holes for the candles in a tree branch or an interesting piece of driftwood.
  6. Traditionally, you should light your menorah every day and use new candles each time. You will need forty-four candles in total for each menorah you light. Special packages of Hanukkah candles are available during this time of year.