How to celebrate the Festival of Lights with your family and not burn the house down
Hanukkah is one of the most kid-friendly Jewish holidays out there. Filled with fire, fried foods, games, and presents, it’s a kid’s dream. Here are some activities with spinning tops and potatoes to get you started on this year’s celebration.
There are all sorts of excellent Hanukkah books, but one of my favorites for the little ones is Where Is Baby’s Dreidel? by Karen Katz. My 1 year-old daughter has a few of Katz's books and loves lifting the flaps to discover what’s underneath. This sweet story reviews the basic symbols of the holiday and if you’re lucky, your child won’t attempt to rip the flaps off like mine does.
Dare we say "Dreidel Dreidel"? It’s catchy and fun, which makes it great for kids to sing. And kids love to spin the dreidel—even the little ones. Here’s a version by Barenaked Ladies that actually is pretty awesome, as is the rest of this Hanukkah EP. Just try not to get it stuck in your head. (Good luck with that).
One of the most crucial components of your Hanukkah celebration is the menorah (also called hanukkiah). This hands-on arts-and-crafts project will show you (and I mean all of you, not just the Martha Stewarts out there) how to make a new menorah with your kids. They’ll have even more fun lighting it (or watching you light it) each night when they’ve helped to create it.
The miracle of the oil is what Hanukkah’s all about, but sometimes it just feels like a lot of oil. Rather than having your whole house smell like a fast food restaurant, try this new oven-fried latke recipe. There's still plenty of oil to celebrate the miracle with, but you can make all 24 latkes at the same time and not feel like a line cook in your own home.