Festive & Fun Hanukkah Crafts & Recipes

Celebrate all eight nights of the Festival of Lights with a different craft and recipe every day.

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Aaron Dyer

Sand Art Menorah and Candles

Your child can use all his favorite colors to make a menorah he can safely keep in his room for many years to come.

What You'll Need: Small glass jars, one large glass jar, funnel, colored sand, scissors, silver straws, yellow grosgrain ribbon.

To Make The Sand Art: Start with eight small glass jars, plus one larger one (we used spice jars). Using a funnel, help your child pour colored sand (we got ours at Sandtastik) into the jars, one color at a time. Alternate the colors and amount you add. To slant a layer, tilt the jar as you pour; for a flat layer, tap the jar after pouring.

To Make The Candles: Trim nine silver straws to your desired height (ours were 4 inches tall). Cut nine 3-inch-long pieces of ½-inch-wide yellow grosgrain ribbon. Knot each in the middle, push into the straw, and trim the ends. When you’re ready to “light” your menorah, press the straw candle gently into the sand.

To Store: Remove candles, pack with cotton balls, and screw on caps. Keep upright.

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Aaron Dyer

DIY Dreidels

Put your own spin on these brilliant dreidel decorations! Open one each night to reveal a special family activity.

What You'll Need: Dreidel template, scissors, pencil, cardstock, black marker, wood craft stick, tape, ribbon.

What To Do: Print the dreidel template, cut it out, and trace it onto eight pieces of colored cardstock. Assemble following the directions on the template (you’ll need a black marker, wood craft stick, and tape). Before closing the dreidels, have each kid write a family-activity idea on a slip of paper (no peeking!) and tuck it into a dreidel, then add your own surprise ideas to the rest. Hang with ribbon.

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Laura Johansen

Happy Hanukkah Brownies

Celebrate the season two ways using this easy technique for dressing up a batch of brownies. Cut a pan of your favorite brownies into dreidel shapes. Spread the dreidels with colored frosting, then use white hard-drying icing (Try our Vanilla Decorating Icing, below) to embellish them as shown. Finish the dreidels with a pretzel stick handle.

Originally published in the December/January 2014 issue of FamilyFun magazine

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Gregory Boyd

Menorah Craft

Make this no-flame menorah craft for a kid-friendly Hanukkah countdown.

What You'll Need: wooden spools, number stickers, acrylic paints in different shades of blue, sponge brushes, pencil, rubber band, colored pencils, yellow eraser pencil toppers

Make it: Line up and label the sides of eight spools from 1 to 8 with number stickers, and add one larger spool to the center. To make it easier to paint a spool, wrap a rubber band around a pencil a third of the way down and insert it into the spool. Use a sponge brush to dab paint on the spool. Let dry completely and remove sticker. Line spools up in numerical order from right to left, with the taller spool in the middle or on the left. Insert a colored pencil into a spool each night and "light" by capping with an eraser.

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Mary Ellen Bartley

Dreidel Wrapping Paper

DIY your own wrapping paper to give out your eight Hanukkah gifts.

What you'll need: foam food trays, scissors, blue paint, pen, roller, white art paper

Make it: Cut plastic foam food trays into four blocks to use as stamps. On the back of each block, draw the outline of a dreidel with a ballpoint pen, pressing hard. Draw backwards Hebrew symbols within each dreidel (symbols will be reversed when stamped). Add lines to fill in extra space surrounding dreidel. Using a roller, roll paint over plastic foam blocks, and press image onto white art paper. Let paint dry completely before you wrap the gift, and top with a matching bow.

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Courtesy of Matzo Ball Soup

Paper Tops

Use materials you have laying around the house to make a version of this traditional Jewish toy.

What you'll need: toothpick, construction paper, scissors, glue

Make it: Cut 1/4" wide strips of colorful construction paper. Glue the edge of the paper to the toothpicks a little bit above the tapered edge and let dry. Roll the paper tightly around the toothpick, and secure the end with glue. Glue on another strip and continue rolling until your disc is about 1" thick. Push the paper downwards, toward the toothpick point, with your thumb to create a bowl shape.

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Courtesy of Prudent Baby

Eight Crazy Cookies

Count down the eight nights of Hanukkah with these festive cookies.

What you'll need: sugar cookies, white icing, blue edible color markers, plastic bag and blue ribbon

Make it: Whip up a batch of your favorite cookie dough and use a knife or a cookie cutter to make the numbers 1 through 8 and some extra stars of David. Once the cookies are baked and cooled, cover the tops with white icing and let dry. Finish off by adding extra designs with a blue edible color marker, and then gather then in a plastic bag tied with a festive bow.

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Jewish Baby Names

Kids can paint wooden spools to create the base for this modular Menorah.

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Courtesy of Matzo Ball Soup

Acorn Spinners

Take advantage of nature and turn these winter acorns into a fun, festive craft.

What you'll need: acorn shells, modeling clay in different colors, matches

Make it: Shape a small piece of the modeling clay into an elongated ball, and stuff the clay into the acorn shell, giving it a little shape at the top. Place a match in the center of the modeling clay and let it dry.

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Courtesy of Creative Jewish Mom

Dreidel Straws

Spin the dreidel and sip through some decorative dreidel straws.

What you'll need: straws, blue felt, scissors, glue

Make it: Cut dreidel shapes from blue felt, and then cut two slits in the middle to thread the straw through. Secure the felt to the straw with a small dab of glue and add to your drinks.

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Courtesy of Birkat Chaverim Blog

Felt Latkes

Make a few latkes that will last all Hanukkah long with these fantastic felt creations.

What you'll need: felt or other fabric, stuffing, thread, needle, pancake flipper, glue

Make it: Fold over the brown felt and then cut out two identical roundish shapes to make your "latke." Layer your stuffing between the two pieces, and then top-stitch in a circular spiral pattern from outside to inside. Glue the latke onto a pancake flipper or spatula.

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Apple Smash

Serve your own chunky-style apple "smash" with your latkes.

What you'll need: 4 Golden Delicious apples (peeled, cored, and cut into bite-size pieces), 1/2 cup apple juice, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make it: Place the first four ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Smash with a potato masher. Then, spoon into serving bowls and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Makes 6 servings.

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Courtesy of Matzo Ball Soup

Gelt Giftwrap

Make these great gelt give-aways to use during your dreidel holiday games.

What you'll need: a fabric sack, iron transfer paper and printer, dreidel and gelt

Make it: Download the dreidel game graphic ("Nun, Gimmel, Hay, Shin") from the Matzo Ball Soup blog and print onto iron transfer paper. Then, iron onto a small fabric sack. Fill the bag with approximately 20 pieces of gelt such as buttons, chocolate, beans, etc, and one dreidel and then hand out to your friends and family.

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Courtesy of Forty-Two Roads

Hanukkah Countdown Calendar

Recycle your old magazines into this super-fun wall-hanging decoration.

What you'll need: magazines, scissors, streamers, envelopes, glue

Make it: Cut out blue and white scraps from magazines, and then cut out numbers, rectangles, and six-sided stars. Glue the numbers, 1 through 8, onto the rectangles - add all the decorations to the streamers however you like. Attach the envelopes to the streamers, and then tuck a piece of chocolate into each envelope. Let you kids open an envelope each day during Hanukkah.

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Courtesy of Prudent Baby

Pom Pom Garland

Use the traditional colors of Hanukkah, blue and white, to make this festive garland.

What you'll need: blue and white fleece, scissors, pins, thread, yarn or rope

Make it: Cut the blue and white fleece into similar sized strips, about 2" thick and 12" long. Then, make small cuts all the way up the long-side of the fleece strips, leaving about a centimeter or less in the middle uncut. Starting from one of the ends, tightly roll the fleece (like a sushi roll) and stick a pin in to hold it at the end. Grab some thread and tie it around the center, double knot it, and then knot it around your yarn or rope to hang.

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Courtesy of Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish

Hanukkah Greetings

Celebrate the Festival of Lights by brightening your friends' and family's day with this DIY greeting card.

What you'll need: white cardstock, magazines or scraps of wrapping paper, glue, scissors

Make it: Cut out scraps from recycled magazines or extra pieces of wrapping paper, and then help your kids glue a nine-candle menorah to white cardstock. Fold the cardstock in half, and add yellow flames to the tops of the candles. Write a message inside and give to your friends and family as a Hanukkah greeting card.

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Courtesy of The Shiksa in the Kitchen

Marshmallow Dreidels

Give your kids a little salty-sweet chocolate treat with these edible marshmallow dreidels.

What you'll need: jumbo marshmallows, stick pretzels, Nutella Hazelnut spread, chocolate candy kisses, cake decorating gel

Make it: Push a pretzel into the flat side of the marshmallow. Use the Nutella as "glue" to attach the kiss to the flat end of the marshmallow. Then, pipe on one of the four Hebrew dreidel letters onto the surface of the marshmallow with blue cake decorating gel, and let them dry for a few hours.

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Courtesy of Creative Jewish Mom

Popsicle Stick Decorations

This super easy craft is great for even your littlest ones to get in on the Hanukkah crafting.

What you'll need: popsicle sticks, acrylic paint, paintbrush, yellow construction paper, scissors, hot glue gun

Make it: Arrange your popsicle sticks into fun, festive Hanukkah decorations like a dreidel or a menorah. Paint the sticks, and then use a hot glue gun to attach the sticks to form the shapes. For the menorah, cut flames from construction paper and glue them to the tops of the menorah candles.

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Cheryl Sternman Rule

Potato Latkes

Stack up your potato pancakes to give each of your guests a leaning tower of latkes.

What you'll need: 10 russet potatoes, 4 yellow onions, peeled and halved, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup matzoh meal, Canola oil, Kosher salt, sour cream and apple sauce

Make it: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Using the food processor, shred the potatoes and onions together. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and place shredded potatoes and onions into the bowl. Stir in the matzoh meal and season generously with salt and pepper. Then, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the latke batter in the oil and flatten gently with a spatula. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Serve hot, with apple "smash" and sour cream on the side.

Copyright & copy 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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