This year, Hanukkah starts right after Thanksgiving. This can be tough for children who celebrate because it is so much earlier than Christmas. However, the joy of Hanukkah can be felt all through the holiday season. To help you get into the Hanukkah spirit, we rounded up our favorite Hanukkah activities, crafts, and games so that you can celebrate all winter long!

Hanukkah activities

Hanukkah games

These fun Hanukkah games can be enjoyed by the whole family!

Pin the candle on the menorah

Like pin the tail on the donkey, but for Hanukkah! All you need to set up and play pin the tail on the menorah is a large printed picture or drawing of a menorah with no candles. Then, print or draw candles and attach pins or tape to them. Blindfold your participants, spin them around, and have them try to put their candles where they should go on the menorah!

Hanukkah charades

Family gatherings and charades go together like latkes and applesauce. But, charades are even more fun when they have a theme, so get the family together and have everyone add a few different Hanukkah themed words into the hat. If you have little ones in the family, include them on a team with an older child or parent so that they can participate and have fun with everyone else.

Gelt checkers

If your children already know how to play checkers, then this is a great way to Hanukkah-ize one of their favorite games. Replace the pieces with chocolate gelt (make sure to mark one side’s pieces so you can tell the difference) and then you can start playing. The best part? When a piece is removed from the board, it can be eaten. Sweet!

Hanukkah sing-off

If you have a musical family, this Hanukkah sing-off is a great way to bond and maintain some healthy competition. You can either do this in teams or individually, just make sure that everyone picks their favorite Hanukkah song and belts it out. Pick a panel of distinguished judges or make it a democracy and have everyone vote on their favorites. If you are looking for some Hanukkah songs to add to your repertoire, check out our full list!

Family & Hanukkah Bingo

Make your own family and Hanukkah Bingo cards and then play with your family as you celebrate the holiday together. Some ideas for the cards can be: the first match goes out before the candle is lit, the latkes are delicious (that’s a free spot!) Grandpa falls asleep on the couch, Mom wins the majority of the dreidel games, or Dad tells his favorite story. You know your family best, so have fun with it (but be nice)!

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Hanukkah activities for preschoolers

Getting your toddler to sit still for an entire activity might feel like as much of a miracle as the oil lasting 8 days. But, these fun Hanukkah activities for preschoolers are engaging and interactive, plus they are all centered around the holiday where your toddler gets gifts, so they will definitely be excited!

Make playdough menorahs

One of the best ways to ensure your toddler will have fun with the activity is by using a material that they already enjoy. We love playdough because it inspires so much creativity and children love it because they can get their hands dirty and have fun. Show your toddler what your menorah looks like and tell them that it needs to “hold” 9 candles, then let their imagination run wild! We recommend making your own menorah too, so you can see how yours compares with your child’s. Feeling adventurous? Learn how to make your own playdough in our guide.

Bake and decorate Hanukkah cookies

There are so many benefits of cooking and baking with your children like increased language and math skills, improved teamwork, and family bonding. Let your toddler help you find, measure, and mix all of the ingredients needed for your cookies (and don’t forget to let them lick the spoon!). Use fun Hanukkah-themed cookie cutters and then when the cookies are out of the oven, let your toddler decorate them with blue & white frosting, glitter, and sprinkles. Make sure to put out your Hanukkah cookies with dessert so your child sees their hard work on display! Check out some of these great Sawyer providers that have online baking classes for children: Tiny Chefs, Freshmade, and Wannabee Chef.

Play dreidel as a family

Your toddler might not have the hand eye coordination necessary to actually spin the dreidel, but that doesn’t mean they won’t love watching you play! We recommend putting your toddler on one of your teams and teaching them what each letter means. Then, make them responsible for taking or putting in gelt, which is a great way to practice numbers while still having fun.

Gelt treasure hunt

This is a great Hanukkah activity for preschoolers because it gets them moving and keeps them engaged. The idea is simple: hide Hanukkah gelt around your house and then let your toddler look for it. You can create a treasure map for them or just let them search like they do for the Afikomen during Passover. Your child will be delighted to find the treats and it will keep them busy. Just be careful if you have pets: make sure they don’t eat any of the chocolate!

Read a Hanukkah book together

If you want your child to love reading, it is important to make reading a fun and daily activity. Finding books that relate your child’s interests is a great way to do this. Since you will be talking about Hanukkah a lot with your toddler before and during the holiday, adding Hanukkah children’s books to your library is a great way to incorporate their joy around the holiday with their budding interest in reading. Gather around and read about the miracle of light as a family.

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Hanukkah crafts for kids

Arts & crafts are a great way to keep children entertained and help them explore their creative side. Some other benefits of art for children? Improving fine and gross motor skills, expressing emotions in a positive way, and increasing self-confidence. Plus, art is just fun! Here are some of our favorite Hanukkah crafts for kids.

Hanukkah preschool crafts and crafts for toddlers

These Hanukkah preschool crafts are a great way to get your little ones excited about the holiday. Plus, they are perfect to send out with gifts to family and friends. Who doesn’t love receiving an adorable craft from a toddler as part of their present?

Homemade Hanukkah cards

Put your little ones to work (just kidding)! Let your children be in charge of creating the Hanukkah cards that will accompany your presents this year. Fold paper in half and tell them to draw on the front side. They can decorate it however they’d like, but try to get them to stay on the Hanukkah theme. You can provide them with menorah and dreidel stencils or just let them do their own thing. Add some glitter and other items to create beautiful mixed media art. Your family will love these pops of toddler joy with their gifts. 

Paper plate and clothespin menorah

We love crafts for toddlers that can be done using household items. All you need for this craft is 3 paper plates, 9 clothespins, and paint. Start by having your toddler paint the clothespins however they would like. Then, fold the paper plate in half to create the “menorah”. You can create the base by cutting 2 small circles out of the other plates, folding them in half, and placing them between 2 slits cut in the bottom (round) half of the larger plate. Voila! Your menorah has a stand. Let your child put their clothespin candles on the menorah and together, you can talk about the meaning of the candles and the story of Hanukkah.

Popsicle stick Star of David or menorah

There are so many fun crafts you can make with popsicle sticks. Start by having your little one paint the popsicle sticks fun colors and add glitter or other additions. Then, glue them together in the form of a Star of David or use them as “candles” for a drawing of a menorah. You can also put the popsicle sticks together into a popsicle menorah. So many options!

LEGO dreidel

For the LEGO-obsessed toddlers, this craft is a give-in. Have them work on creating a fun LEGO dreidel after talking with them about what dreidels are and how they work. Check out this article, which gives how-to instructions that you can follow with your child. Or, if your child wants to do it their own way, that works, too! The most important thing is that they have fun.

Decorated paper gelt

Start this activity by cutting circles out of yellow paper in a variety of sizes. Then, break out the markers and let your child decorate the pieces of “gelt” however they’d like. Depending on their age, encourage them to add numbers to denote value for each piece. Once they have decorated the gelt, you can use it (along with chocolate gelt, of course) for your family dreidel games.

For even more DIY Hanukkah crafts for kids, check out our guide!

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Hanukkah printables

Here are some of our favorite Hanukkah printables to keep your little ones busy while you fry up the latkes and prepare the sufiyanot.

  1. 95 page Hanukkah printable pack | Download
  2. Hanukkah placemats | Download
  3. Hanukkah puppets | Download
  4. 3D paper dreidel | Download
  5. Hanukkah joke tellers | Download
  6. Educational Hanukkah activities | Download
  7. Hanukkah dominos | Download
  8. Learn about Hanukkah | Download
  9. Hanukkah memory game | Download

With these Hanukkah activities, crafts, and games for kids, you should be more than ready to celebrate the miracle of lights together as a family. For even more fun online and in-person activities, check out what our providers have to offer on Sawyer! Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

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