From Legos to seashells, these menorah crafts make great keepsakes and use simple materials you probably already have on hand. Get tips for making them, plus our favorite store-bought menorahs for kids.

By Holly Rizzuto Palker
October 28, 2020
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Credit: Holly Rizzuto Palker

Looking for a fun way to discuss the Hanukkah story as a family this year? Get out the craft supplies and have kids make their own menorah! Yes, it's true the Maccabees originally lit a wooden Hannukiyah (another word for menorah). But menorahs can be made from any material—there's a golden one in Jerusalem!—making the DIY options endless.

A few pointers to get you started: All eight candles on the menorah, which represent the eight nights of Hanukkah, should be lined up straight with the "Shamash," or helper candle set off to the side or higher than the rest. Remember that close adult supervision is required if lighting any of these menorahs. Some listed below are best with artificial flames. Make sure dripless candles are secure inside their cups, opt for LED lights, or use pencils with erasers instead, especially for the younger kids!

The last piece of the puzzle? Put your kids creation on display in your home menorah museum. What? You don't have a menorah museum? Well, you will soon!

Credit: Stacey Palker

Nature walks "get kids thinking," says Stacey Palker, a kindergarten teacher in Greenwich, Connecticut (and my go-to for Hanukkah inspiration as my sister-in-law!) so this homemade menorah is a win-win. Start by sending your child outside to search for nine similar-shaped smooth pebbles to decorate. Paint the rocks with shiny metallic paint and let them dry overnight. Hot glue them to a painted wood board and secure candle cups on top.

Credit: Holly Rizzuto Palker

Who can resist collecting seashells at the beach? If you have a stash like us, pick a few favorites for this menorah. To start, we boiled the shells and sorted them by size and color. (This was a fun way to decide on the layout of your design before committing with glue.) Next we hot glued a smaller old wooden stacking block onto a larger one to create the structure of our menorah masterpiece and covered them with decoupage glue to secure the shells. We hot glued menorah candle cups on top. Now, shell we celebrate?

Credit: Holly Rizzuto Palker

Inspired by the coziness of the season, we collected similar-sized pine cones, washed them, and baked them in the oven to rid them of sap and critters. We sanded and shellacked two pieces of firewood to keep splinters away from tiny fingers. Then, we hot-glued the wood together and attached the pinecones and two, different cup holders. We think this one is best with pencils to represent candles.

Credit: Holly Rizzuto Palker

Every time I donate my children's outgrown toys, I get teary-eyed. To preserve our Disney memories my 7-year-old gathered her miniature figures (the ones we could find at least) and created a character menorah that preschoolers would love, too. (How cool is it that she chose King Triton to hold the Shamash?!) We hot-glued two stacking blocks together and electric-taped the seam, then covered the whole thing in aluminum foil. Next we hot-glued the smaller stacking block in the center, covered the menorah with gems, and fastened the characters. We chose battery-operated LED votives for safety and placed them so they can be removed and turned on or off.

Credit: Holly Rizzuto Palker

For my son the diehard Lego fan, we fished out some extra pieces from his giant plastic box to create a free-form Menorah sculpture. (This one is an exception to the rule because the candles aren't in a straight line, but it's still cool.) We hot-glued two bolts on top of each piece to serve as candle holders and decoupage glued the whole piece together so it doesn't fall apart when it's moved.

Credit: Holly Rizzuto Palker

Here we turned a super fun art project that my sister-in-law recommended into a menorah that will be a keepsake. We raided our crayon shoebox and found varying Hanukkah inspired shades of blue, purple, yellow, and orange. My daughter chose our color scheme, then I hot-glued the crayons to the canvas outside on the lawn (this can get messy) and held the blow dryer to the crayons, creating this gorgeous piece of dribble art. We cut out flames from a sheet of yellow foam paper and secured them with Velcro dots so we could remove and add them to correspond to each night of Hanukkah. Last step? We propped it up on a plastic easel holder and put it on display in the living room!

Credit: Stacey Palker

"Tinkering" with loose parts allows children to figure out how things work. When Palker does this tactile menorah project with her students, she encourages them to play with the tiles, talk about  how they feel, and stack them. She ends the session by concocting a tranquil tile menorah. Hot glue nine loose glass tiles to a large piece of tile or slate, glue candle cups or use bolts from the hardware store. Let your child select special tiles for and the location of the Shamash. Bonus: These menorahs are fire-resistant. 

Menorahs to Buy for Kids

Since tactile stimulation promotes children’s engagement, here are some of our favorite menorahs that have moveable pieces for curious hands to play with, plus a few DIY menorah kits for older kids.

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With removable numbered wood-block flames, this menorah teaches little ones how to count the eight nights of Hanukkah.

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Flip the candles up and down for loads of fun with this kid-friendly menorah.

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This is an excellent option for older kids who love architectural design and building.

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For perfect dripless menorah candles, try this craft and make your own!

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