Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights, is celebrated with a nightly menorah lighting, special prayers and foods. It celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the second century BCE, and the miracle that one night of oil lasted eight nights. This year, Hanukkah begins on the evening of December 10.
Paper Plate Menorah Make a hanging decoration with a few simple materials. You’ll need a paper plate, paper, paints or markers, glue and ribbon. Cut a paper plate in half and paint it gold. Cut our paper candles and paint or color with makers. Glue to the back of the plate. Add a ribbon for hanging. Find complete instructions and a candle template at Nurture Store.
Star of David Ornament These easy-to-make stars make great hanging ornaments, or use them to decorate the Hanukkah table. You’ll need six craft sticks for each ornament. Use craft glue to create triangles with three craft sticks; stack the triangles as shown to form a star. Paint the ornaments silver and add a ribbon for hanging. For a placecard, write names on cardstock and tie them to each star.
Dreidel Banner This easy craft is made with felt, so there’s no sewing involved. You’ll need craft felt in white, light blue, royal blue and yellow. Cut the main dreidel shapes from blue felt. Cut stars, diamonds and circles in a variety of colors and use craft glue to adhere them to the dreidels. When dry, glue each shape to a string or ribbon. Source: sheknows.com
Latkes Potato latkes, or pancakes, are traditionally served during Hanukkah, usually with sour cream or applesauce. To make them, you’ll need potatoes, onion, eggs, flour, salt and oil for frying. Find the full recipe at Make a batch at home with this latke recipe from chabad.org.
For this tasty treat, you’ll need marshmallows, pretzel sticks, chocolate kisses, blue decorating sugar and vanilla frosting. Insert a pretzel into the top of a marshmallow and spread a small amount of frosting on the sides. Roll in decorating sugar. Use a dab of frosting on the bottom to add a chocolate kiss.
Stained Glass Cookies Roll out sugar cookie dough and cut into rounds or squares. Use a star or dreidel cookie cutter (or make a paper pattern) to cut shapes in the center of each round. Fill the shapes with crushed Jolly Rancher candies and bake. Find the complete recipe at Living Sweet Moments.
Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel (Holiday House)
Bubba Brayna’s famous latkes attract a very hungry unexpected visitor in this humorous tale.
Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer (Lerner Publishing Group)
Rescued from the animal shelter on the first night of Hanukkah, Latke the dog helps teach the lesson of gratitude.
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko (Random House Children’s Books)
Holiday time at Sadie’s means a menorah and a tree. This story shows how families can blend both holidays for a joyful celebration.