Preschool is the perfect time to introduce children to holidays from various cultures. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, lasting eight days in December. Each night is marked with the lighting of a candle on a special Hanukkah Menorah. The following activity plans are perfect for introducing this holiday to preschoolers in a fun way!
The Menorah is one of the first things people think of when Hanukkah comes up. Help the preschooler in your life learn more about Menorahs with these preschool activities and crafts!
1. Menorah Craft
This Menorah craft uses paper towel rolls to create Hanukkah candles. If you don't have enough paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls would work too! The instructions use paint, but you can change it up with tissue paper and glue to decorate!
Learn more: Mini Monets and Mommies
2. Masking Tape Menorah
Children can independently create this Masking Tape Menorah craft. The materials are all easily found (probably already in your house!) and easy for little fingers to use. Adults may need to help with tearing or cutting the masking tape, but otherwise, children have creative freedom in forming the Menorah shape in this activity!
Learn more: Simple Play Ideas
3. Paper Plate and Clothespin Menorah
This Menorah made of a paper plate and clothespins is perfect for young children working on fine motor skills. Clothespins are easy for children to manipulate on their own. You can allow your child to decorate the clothespin, and even the paper plate, as they wish by using paintbrushes or just allowing them to dip the clothespins in the paint.
Learn more: Simple Paly Ideas
4. Chanukkah Candles
These candles are the perfect addition to a Menorah for toddlers! Children can make their own Hanukkah Candles out of pipe cleaners, making a sensory Menorah. You may need to help with setting up, but children should be able to do the twisting on their own after a demonstration.
Learn more: Jewish Moms and Crafters
5. Engineering a Menorah
6. Lego Menorah
Want fire-free Menorah candles for your preschooler during this year's Menorah lighting ceremony? This Lego Menorah is perfect for you! This is an excellent experiential activity for preschoolers, as it can vary greatly based on the individual and LEGOs available.
Learn more: What Do We Do All Day
Dreidel is a Hebrew game traditionally played during Hanukkah. Learn more about Dreidel with the following fun activities for kids!
7. Play Dreidel
Looking to learn to play Dreidel as a family-bonding activity over the holiday season? These instructions make it easy to understand the meanings of the Hebrew letters on the dreidel! This can be done using household items, you just need to find or make a dreidel!
Learn more: Uplifting Mayhem
8. Dreidel Painting
A simple craft for Hanukkah is painting a dreidel with dreidel toys. An adult will prepare the paper dreidel shape, then offer paint and dreidels for the child. The child can then dip the dreidel in paint and spin it on the paper cutout to decorate! If your child is fond of this activity, they can use dreidels to paint plain paper or other Hanukkah shapes, such as the Star of David.
Learn more: Julia Teaches Preschool
9. Watercolor Dreidel
This watercolor Dreidel craft is so fun for littles to show their creative side! Adults just need to provide a Dreidel cutout, watercolors, water, and a paintbrush! To expand on this craft, adults can help children make these into a hanging Dreidel mobile!
Learn more: Creative Jewish Mom
10. Dreidel Spinner
This Dreidel Spinner craft will need to be put together by an adult. Children will love the dot painting with this craft! Need a cleaner way to decorate? Use some dot markers instead!
Learn more: Nurture Store
11. Hanukkah Symbol Writing
Children who are learning the Hebrew letters on the Dreidel should practice writing them to build their fine motor skills as well. These Writing Sand Trays are perfect for practicing writing in a fun, engaging way! (Bonus: This link has more Hanukkah activities for kids to enjoy!)
Learn more: Fantastic Fun and Learning
Looking to add a STEM-friendly preschool activity to your Hanukkah plans? This Construct-A-Dreidel activity is perfect! You may have to have a sample or help your child, but they get rewarded with an edible dreidel! This can be expanded upon by asking children to build a Star of David or Menorah shape!
Learn more: Esthero
Other Activities and Crafts
Here are some more fun ideas to learn about or celebrate Hanukkah as well! Changing up preschool activity types engages children in a variety of ways and works on more skills during celebration time.
13. Hanukkah I-Spy
Engage even the youngest child with this Hanukkah I-Spy bottle! Children will love searching for the items and this gives adults a chance to talk about the holiday with a different, engaging activity.
Learn more: With Love, Ima
14. Chanukkah Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are a hit for any occasion and this Chanukkah Sensory Bin is no different. Engage your child with a variety of Hanukkah items and other holiday shapes for long-lasting fun!
Learn more: Jewish Moms and Crafters
15. Hanukkah Slime
16. Star of David Suncatcher
This Star of David Suncatcher is perfect for adults and children to create together. There are many parts young children may need help with, but adults can help with the messier or more difficult aspects.
Learn more: Kids' Craft Room
17. Yarn Wrapping the Star of David
Looking for activity ideas for kids to practice their fine motor skills? A simple cardboard cutout of the Star of David can be wrapped with yarn to practice those fine motor skills. To advance this activity, an adult could make holes around the star for the child to weave the yarn through or add pom poms in the wrapped yarn!
Learn more: Academic Adventures Preschool
18. Decoupage Star of David
Another creative Star of David craft that works fine motor skills is making a Decoupage Star of David. This is a great craft with items you likely already have on hand. All you need to do is prep the decoupage mix and craft stick Star of David! However, it's simple enough, the child can even do these or at least help!
Learn more: Imaginations Running Wild
19. Healthy Hanukkah Snacks
Looking for Hanukkah snacks preschoolers can help with? Create a Menorah shape of veggies sticks or chocolate pretzel Star of David with help from eating by elaine. These recipes are super simple and tasty with options available for children with any dietary needs!
Learn more: Eating by Elaine
20. Latke Counting and Matching
Latkes are a favorite Hanukkah treat for many families to get into the holiday spirit! Introduce the preschooler in your life to latkes and build their math skills with this fun Counting and Matching game! This activity can be altered into a memory game or a number recognition game as well!
Learn more: My Pre K Box