Hanukkah is just a few days away, so it might be time to start planning out all of the fun you’re going to have. When it comes to Hanukkah, choosing activities that will entertain the entire family while encouraging bonding can be tough, especially if you are working with a lot of different age groups. However, there are many things you can do together as a family that will help keep everyone excited about the holiday, while also saving you money. So, don’t spare another moment, because planning out your Hanukkah celebration will be easier than ever when you take these ten tips into account.
1. Share the story of Hanukkah
The story of Hanukkah is very important, and most people know it. However, this shouldn’t stop you from telling the story every single year. To keep the story alive on the holiday is to help pass the message down from generation to generation. You can always spice up the story every year too. For instance, you can tell the story from memory to children using fun voices and sound effects. This makes for a great bedtime story but can also keep children occupied before a meal begins. Another option is to choose a variety of books to read to children. Books that are lengthier and require more thought can be passed on to older children and teens so that they can analyze and understand more about the holiday and their religion. If you want to keep children busy, then have them recreate the story. They can come up with their own play or transform the story into an illustrated book to share with everyone. You don’t have to keep the story to your family gathering either. In fact, many of your colleagues, friends and acquaintances might be curious to hear the story too.
2. Enjoy Family Recipes
Hanukkah is the perfect time to get together with the whole family and work on some of the recipes that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Kids don’t have to be left out of the cooking process either. In fact, most children will love taking part in the activity and helping to feed everyone that attends your holiday gatherings. While you’re looking through a recipe, make sure to share stories based around the person you learned the recipe from or specific memories surrounding the recipe. You might also consider coming up with a new recipe with your children. This will give them something they can be proud to serve to guests and eventually share with their own children and grandchildren.
3. Make Miracles Happen
Part of Hanukkah is embracing all of those miracles that make life even more enjoyable and, in a sense, magical. Miracles don’t have to be spontaneous and mysterious though. Rather, you can help make a miracle happen for someone fairly easily. One easy way to do this is to visit a nursing home or hospital. Sometimes, people will have an item that they would love to have, while others simply want someone to sit and talk with. Bringing flowers or a handmade craft can also help lift the spirits of someone. You might also listen to the people you love and come up with ideas to make their lives better. Another option is to make blessing bags to pass out to the homeless. These bags can be filled with water bottles, granola bars, hot hands and anything else you think will make life easier.
4. Make Gifts Together
Giving gifts to loved ones can be a great part of Hanukkah. However, if you’re on a tight budget then you might want to consider making gifts for some of the people in your life. This can be a great bonding experience for the entire family though and will help show your children that the love put into a gift is the perfect way to share cheer. There are so many things you can make with your kids too. For instance, you might consider making greeting cards to offer a warm holiday to those you may not be very close with. Picture frames, holiday décor, picture albums, crocheted goods and other crafts are other great options that kids will enjoy making. You will be surprised how far your gifts go and how much they teach your children.
5. Create a Menorah
The menorah plays an important role in the holiday, which is why kids will love making a menorah of their own to help celebrate the holiday. You can make a menorah out of so many items, so you might see what your children come up with. One great option that is actually quite durable is a LEGO menorah. This might take quite a bit of time to make, but it will help everyone have some fun while making an unforgettable memory and decorative item that can be used year after year. Of course, if you’re just looking for a craft project then you might consider using recyclable items like paper towel rolls, cardboard, Styrofoam and so on to make the menorah. Younger children can simply color a paper menorah, which can be glued to a cereal box or other item used to stand the image up to add to the décor.
6. Decorate Cookies
You don’t have to just stick with the classic holiday treats during Hanukkah. Instead, you might want to spend some time baking cookies with your kids. The cookies can be made in all shapes and sizes, including Hanukkah symbols if you have cookie cutters to help create these items. You can also decorate your cookies with Hanukkah symbols and colors to add to the fun. The cookies can be passed out to friends or family, or you can let the kids have a sugar party to help them enjoy the festivities all the more. No matter what you choose, you’ll be set for some fun that will bond the family. You might even make cookies a tradition to look forward to.
7. Play the Dreidel Game
The dreidel game is a popular Hanukkah activity for kids. However, you don’t have to let the kids have all of the fun. Instead, sit down and spin the dreidel with them. You can open up this activity as a great time to chat about your childhood experiences with the game. Kids might find even more meaning when you share with them the story of the dreidel and how loved ones have played it for so long. You might even have the kids create their own dreidel out of paper to help add to the game. You’ll love feeling nostalgic while you play, and the kids will love having the chance to win against their parents.
8. Add Cheer to the Home
Decorating can be a great way to get everyone in the mood for the holiday. However, often kids end up on the sidelines when it comes to decorating. Instead of leaving them out, give them jobs to help them feel as if they were a part of the activity. For instance, older children can help hang up décor or place items on the table to improve on the ambiance of the room. You can also have kids create some décor to add to the home. Coloring pictures is one of the easiest options for younger children. These items can be hung on the walls to help make your home look festive. Playing holiday inspired music can also help bring cheer to the occasion. There are so many streaming playlists available that you won’t have to pay a cent for music if you don’t currently own any.
9. Look Through Photo Albums
Sharing stories can be a great way to help your children enjoy the holiday and feel closer to loved ones. There is no better way to share old stories than to pull out the photo album to share images of loved ones from the past and present. You might concentrate on stories about miracles that have been passed down from one generation to the next. These stories help to make up your own story, which makes them important to pass down, especially during this holiday. Children will gain a better understanding of where they come from thanks to this, which will help improve familial ties.
Without a doubt, games are one of the best ways to keep everyone busy during a holiday. There are so many traditional games you can play during Hanukkah. However, you might also consider transforming a few of your favorite games into Hanukkah inspired games. For instance, you can play trivia, charades and so much more to keep everyone busy and laughing. Younger children might appreciate match games or puzzles that are holiday themed too. Another great option is to set out playdough for toddlers and allow them to use holiday themed cookie cutters to create shapes that will excite them. There are so many game ideas online that you can choose from, which will allow you to customize the experience for your family.
Hanukkah is such a great time to celebrate with your family. These activity ideas will ensure that you make the most out of your holiday and you enjoy your time together. You’re certain to fill every moment with fun, which will help the whole family make outstanding memories that will last a lifetime.