Hanukkah is coming up soon — this year, it begins on the night of December 2nd. And if your kids don’t attend a Jewish day school, there’s a chance you may be tasked with organizing a Hanukkah classroom activity for your child’s class. Volunteering to teach a room full of children about Hanukkah is a brave thing indeed, so we’re here to help.
Here are some ideas for classroom activities for kids:
Read a Hanukkah book together: There’s quite a fabulous selection of Hanukkah books out there, for many age ranges, and they’re a great way to introduce kids to the holiday and get them excited about it. You can go with familiar characters like Elmo’s Little Dreidel, Grover’s Eight Nights of Light, or Clifford Celebrates Hanukkah, or try a more adventurous book like the fun Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas, Hanukkah Bear, or Little Red Ruthie. PJ library also has a bunch of great options.
Watch a fun video together: Depending on the room, a video might go over better than a book. You can watch one of the Hanukkah story, or light things up with a fun Hanukkah acapella song, they’re educational and catchy.
Give a short but clear version of the Hanukkah story: If you want to really focus on a hands-on activity, crib from this super-quick version of the Hanukkah story. You can print out and share with the kids — done and done!
Organize a craft: You can have the kids decorate a wooden dreidel or make their own paper dreidels with this handy template. Younger kids will enjoy making hand-print menorahs. Want to get more adventurous? Try one of these amazing crafts.
Play a game: No need to overthink this one — Hanukkah already has a built-in activity: playing dreidel. Want to teach the class how to play? Have them watch this video then get their game on! Bring gelt or other healthier treats. (Bonus: math!)
Light the menorah, if your school permits: Your school may not allow the burning of candles, so consider an electric menorah or a wooden menorah for a younger group. Also, don’t forget to refresh your knowledge of the Hanukkah blessings.