Educational Hanukkah Activities for Little Ones
Interactive Holiday Learning for Everyone!
Hanukkah begins on December 18th this year, and whether or not you celebrate the Festival of Lights, this time of year is wonderful for educating your little one on the traditional Jewish holiday! It’s important to make sure your little one is exposed to beliefs, cultures, and religions outside of your own, as it will help them to become more understanding, empathetic and well-rounded people the older they get. So, we’ve compiled some great ideas for helping your little one to understand this important holiday a bit better!
Before getting into the activities, though, it’s important to understand the history and story behind the holiday! Derived from the Hebrew word for “dedication”. Hanukkah’s story goes as such: many years ago, a cruel leader of ancient Greece sought to impose his beliefs upon everyone in the kingdom, and practiced behaviors that contradicted Jewish faith, such as killing pigs at the altar (a practice that was considered to dirty the temple space), or forcing worship of Greek idols such as Zeus. A group called the Maccabees were very unhappy and refused to assimilate as such; a priest called Mattiyahu and his son Yehuda decided to lead a battle against the Greeks and eventually won protection for the Torah, which is the Jewish book of texts, teaching and laws. After the Maccabees reclaimed their temple, though, they realized that there was only one jug of oil left, which meant the lamp would only be able to be lit for one night. Miraculously, though, the jug ended up lasting for eight more nights, and so Hanukkah celebrates this miracle and the ideas of persistence of strength and hope!
So what are some good ways of helping little ones to understand the importance of such a holiday? Well, to begin with, sharing the Hanukkah story is a great way to start little ones on the path to learning. Local public libraries can be a great resource to find books that share the story of Hanukkah in a way that your little one can comprehend! The internet is also a very helpful thing when searching for resources for learning, like worksheets, coloring sheets or even videos! Additionally, like most holidays, Hanukkah has many traditions that are followed that allow for lots of interactivity! Music is hugely important in celebrating Hanukkah, and there are lots of songs on music streaming services or online that you and your little one can listen to. There are also lots of delicious foods that you and your little one can cook and share together. Some common Hanukkah treats include latkes, which are potato pancakes, and sufganiyot, which are jelly donuts. Encourage your little one to help in the preparation of these foods and help explain why those foods are eaten around the holiday! You can also make sure your little one recognizes some of the important symbols and props used to celebrate the holiday, such as menorahs, Hanukkah candles, gelt (coins) and dreidels.
The holidays are an amazing time in which many different beliefs and cultures are shared and celebrated, and so it’s a wonderful time to make sure your little one is experiencing and learning about practices outside their own! Try Our Online Preschool for FREE! Playgarden Prep offers numerous educational videos from real teachers, and numerous DIY projects that support early learning and development.
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Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!
Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!