Hanukkah *or Chanukah* started on the 1st and we are currently on day three of our yearly Hanukkah lessons. So far once again we have gone over why Jewish people celebrate Hanukkah, what the menorah is as well as the name for the tallest *lead* candle-the Shamash-*because it is hard for little kids who aren’t Jewish to remember all this stuff since they only hear about it once a year*, and we’ve done some crafting *with more to come*.

So far each of the boys have made a Star of David, which once completely dry, they will further decorate and then we will hang them up to go with the rest of our holiday décor. I also found a great template online that has turned out to be the perfect window menorah. I colored the Shamash and each of the boys got to color four of the candles. We are alternating turns, and on their night they will pick which of their candles gets cut out and placed *glued* into the menorah.

After it is glued in, the menorah is returned to its place in the window, which fulfills the mitzvah *commandment* that the miracle of Hanukkah be publicized.
While that is my reflection that IS NOT my van...just wanted to put that out there. LOL.

We are currently in the process of getting a silver menorah, but it won’t be here until after the holiday is over, so I figured we would once again make our own menorahs. Last year we used an empty egg carton, some air dry clay, and birthday candles. This year I got a bit creative and made each of the boys menorahs in the shape of the Star of David. I’ve been waiting for them to completely dry before I allow the boys to paint/decorate them. After which we will have our window menorah to fulfill the mitzvah and then the boys will have ones they can actually light.

Aside from the more crafty things we will also be using our Knowledge Books starting today. I have finally finished filling them with Hanukkah coloring pages and worksheets to go along with our studies. Today we will learn where Israel is, as well as what their flag looks like, we will spend some more time discussing the Star of David, and learn a bit more about the Maccabees.

To add to our studies we have a Hanukkah word wall and our nightly bedtime story has come from a list of Hanukkah themed books I gathered at the library.

To bring in the food element we will be having a traditional Jewish meal either Saturday or Sunday night *I had wanted to do this the last night of Hanukkah but life happens and plans must change…*.

On Monday our co-op learning will be an extension of what we are doing at home, then on Tuesday we will focus on just the dreidel with activities that center around what the boys often call “Their favorite thing about Christmas”, which always ensures a puzzled look on someone’s face when they ask “What’s your favorite thing about Christmas”. We will learn a bit about gelt as well, including the history behind giving coins *especially chocolate ones* during Hanukkah. I’m not 100% what to do for the last day, I’m thinking a review of everything, possibly a large craft, and eating of their favorite items from our weekend meal.

Well that’s pretty much it folks. Not too involved, most of it is centered around reading, some coloring pages/worksheets, and crafting. Which works very well for their age groups. Each year we’ll get more into the history, maybe visit a synagogue so they can experience a Hanukkah celebration like the ones we’ve been reading about. But for now I’m going to attempt to make yummy latkes and sufganyot, not burn the challah, and hopeful win the next game of dreidel!

Here is our booklist:

Hanukkah by Norma Simon
Beni’s First Chanukah by Jane Zalben
Moishe’s Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Melmed
The Runaway Latkes by Leslie Kimmelman
A Picture Book of Hanukkah by David Adler
On Hanukkah by Cathy Fishman
When Mindy Saved Hanukkah by Eric Kimmel
Pearl’s Eight Days of Chanukah by Jane Zalben *it features an activity for each night!*
Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel *a friend of mine shared that he loved this story as a child, so I’m eager to read it to the boys*
And last but not least Our Eight Nights of Hanukkah by Michael Rosen

And here is the link list:

Link 1
*activities, crafts, coloring pages, recipes, and more*

Link 2*word wall, games, songs, crafts, coloring pages, and more*

Link 3*Hanukkah information, crafts, reading list, coloring pages -where our Israel flag coloring page came from-, and more

Link 4*crafts-Star of David craft came from this site-, recipes, coloring sheets, and more*

And lastly just for fun:


Copyright(c)2010 Rayven Holmes


  1. Woohoo! Happy Hanukkah! Mazel tov!!!

    Thanks for posting those resources - we made our clay menorahs today and lit the first 3 nights (weren't around the first two, obviously). But I think one of the printouts will be very cool for the window. Hmmmm.... maybe I'll print it out right now so I can laminate it tonight.

    Thanks for the Adam Sandler link. I was thinking of that and it gave me a good laugh to see it. You know how I hate trying to look stuff up on YouTube. LOL

  1. I need to be in your class with your kids, LOL. I know next to nothing about Jewish holidays. I am impressed that you're taking the time to teach your kids about the Jewish religion and culture. I wish I had had that exposure growing up. In fact, exposure to anything at all outside of one narrow worldview would have been awesome.

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