Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday which is also called the Festival of Lights. During Hanukkah, Jews and some Christians celebrate the re-dedication of the Temple after the victory of the Maccabees over the the armies of Antiochus. Only one day's worth of oil was left in the temple, yet miraculously it burned for eight days, long enough for new oil to be prepared. Hanukkah crafts are a great way celebrate Hanukkah, and to teach young people about its meaning.
A Wooden Menorah
A Menorah is like a candelabra. It holds nine candles. Eight candles represent the eight days that the oil burned miraculously in the temple. The ninth is called the servant candle, or shamash, and is used to light the other candles. On the first night, the servant candle is lit and used to light one candle. On the second night two candles are lit, and so on for eight days.
Use a piece of wood long enough to hold nine tin cupcake holders. Paint and decorate the piece of wood. Glue a small square of wood onto the middle or one end of the wood. Glue the tin cupcake holders along the long piece of wood, including one on top of the square of wood for the servant candle. Insert candles, dripping wax into the bottom of the holders if needed to hold candles steady.
Find ten ceramic or metal beads with holes big enough for birthday candles or Hanukkah candles to fit into. Two of the beads should be stacked and glued together for the servant candle, and glued in the center of a piece of wood that has been painted and decorated if desired. Glue beads on the rest of the beads, four on each side of the servant candle. Insert candles.
Found Items Menorah
This is especially fun to do, almost like a scavenger hunt. Discuss the meaning of Hanukkah and what the Menorah looks like and the purpose it serves. Go to a thrift store, craft store or fabric store and see if the kids can create their own version of a Menorah. Remember, it will need to be stable if it will be used with real candles.
Homemade Star of David
Form pipe cleaners into two triangles, or glue popsicle sticks into two triangles. Glue the two triangles together, one with the pointed side up, one with the pointed side down, to form a Star of David. Spray paint gold and decorate with gold glitter. Add a blue ribbon to hang.