10 Hanukkah Activities Your Toddler Will Love
It’s almost time to celebrate The Festival of Lights! Over the years, my family and I have noticed that more shops are bringing in cute Hanukkah decorations and crafts, which is so great—and inclusive.
My mom went out of her way to make Hanukkah special for our family, and I aim to follow in the fun with my daughters.
It may be a less popular mainstream holiday, but you can still make Hanukkah memories for your toddler they’ll forever cherish. Here are some suggestions!
Related: The 10 Best Hanukkah Books for Kids
Construct Your Own Menorah
Make a clay menorah with your little one, following these instructions from Mini Monets and Mommies!
Both of my daughters have a personalized menorah they chose themselves. So, in our home, we light a few different menorahs for each “crazy” night of Hanukkah. (Thanks to Adam Sandler for his Hanukkah song, reminding kids about the number of nights.)
If you make your own, just don’t forget to add one extra candle, the shamash, which is the “helper candle” used to light all the other candles on the menorah. Candles are placed in the menorah from right to left, but candles are lit from left to right.
Make Your Own Gingerbread House
Yep, it’s true. I always felt a tad left out as a kid when everyone made Christmas-themed Gingerbread houses for the holiday season. But today, they sell Hanukkah-themed Gingerbread kits and my own kids just love them.
Amazon sells a few, but this one from William-Sonoma is my personal fave—it comes with everything you need to construct and decorate an edible ‘house’ and can even be personalized. I also saw this less complex one online.
Hanukkah Bingo is a great way to teach your child about the holiday and improve their thinking skills.
This Hanukkah version features game sheets, call-out cards, and star cards to cover your match on the board. Photos to match include dreidels (a spinning top), menorahs, gelt (chocolate candies), latkes (potato pancakes), and more. Fun for the whole family.
Make Potato Pancakes (Latkes)
Hanukkah is synonymous with potato pancakes, a long-standing holiday tradition and meal.
Potato pancakes—also called Latkes—are the Hanukkah treat. Every family makes them in their own special and unique way.
Whether you like your latkes soft or crunchy, plain or drenched in apple sauce or sour cream, you can include your little ones in the baking process. Share these recipes with your kids so that someday they can make Latkes with their own family and friends.
Make and Play with Dreidels
This classic and traditional spinning game includes a top called, of course, a dreidel. We all know the song about it!
Here’s some information on how to play the dreidel game:
Dreidel can be confusing for toddlers to understand, but they can have fun twisting the top and making their own dreidels out of clay. Or, you can download and print pictures of dreidels for a cute coloring activity.
Make Dreidel-Shaped Pizzas
Since so many kids (and their parents) love pizza, this is such a great baking activity for the special toddlers in your life.
Kosher.com has a simple and fun recipe for dreidel-shaped pizza. All you need are Hanukkah cookie cutters to cut some rolled, flat dough into shapes. Set the shapes in front of the children and allow them to coat each dreidel in pizza/tomato sauce, then add mozzarella cheese.
Bake the mini pizzas at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25–20 minutes; let them cool, and enjoy!
Have a Hanukkah Movie Night
There’s a joke that Jewish people go to the movies on Christmas Day. Well, let’s keep that joke running through the holidays with some at-home Hanukkah flicks and TV shows your toddlers will love.
A total classic is Rugrats Chanukah, based on the hit Nickelodeon animated cartoon series The Rugrats, featuring talking babies with sass.
Not only are these movies fun, but they’re a great way to teach youngsters about the significance of Hanukkah.
Make and Decorate Hanukkah Cookies
Decorating sugar cookies is a fun and yummy way to celebrate the holiday.
I bought these for my kids and nieces last year and they were a huge hit– especially because my family loves sweets! The cookie kit comes with edible candy crystals you “paint” onto the Hanukkah cookie, and then enjoy. The kit contains 2 cookies with Hanukkah-themed designs, Edible Glue, 1 Paintbrush, and 6 bags of Color Sugar.
According to my kids, these sugar cookies are very tasty!
Use Dreidel Molds
Dreidel molds can be used for making baked goods, ice cubes, chocolate, or even soap!
I saw these on Amazon.com and immediately ordered them so I can make Dreidel chocolate lollipops with my kids. When I saw in the comments that somebody used them to make dreidel-shaped bars of soap to give as gifts, my jaw hit the floor. What a clever idea!
Toddlers can help you mix and pour the molds (which can be hot when mixing, so warn them!). You can even buy soap mix at Michaels craft shops.
Either indoors, outdoors, or both, you can hide Hanukkah gelt around the home and send kids off to collect the tasty coins.
Okay, a confession: in the grand scheme of Jewish holidays, Hanukkah is not a major holiday. However, since it’s so close to Christmas and fun for kids, it has become more mainstream.
These Hannukah activities are not only fun, but they will also help teach your little ones to appreciate the Festival of Lights and build traditions for years to come!
Looking for the best Hanukkah Gifts for your children? Read 8 Days of Hanukkah Gifts for Kids!