Can you believe that Chanukah is less than two weeks away? It seems as though we just took down our sukkah and packed away all those decorations!
Tonight, my kids and I officially kicked off the start of the “Chanukah season” by digging out the Rubbermaid tub of Chanukah paraphernalia. The buffet in our dining room is now adorned with no fewer than nine chanukiot (chanukah menorahs) (yes, we saved every one they made in preschool!) plus numerous s’vivonim (dreidels)– both the Israeli ones with a pey and the American ones with a shin.
Since we’re well stocked on the traditional artifacts of the holiday, I went in search for some less predictable Chanukah crafts. Here’s a look at some of my favorites.
- What better place to start than with the inimitable Creative Jewish Mom. She has more than a dozen Chanukah crafts – and is adding more every day – but this bold batik really caught my eye. The lovely cobalt blue is festive, but it’s also neutral enough to be used throughout the year.
- This felt gelt bag from Kaboose is super cute. I like that it’s no-sew, so even young children can help. If you are hosting a Chanukah party, they might make cute goody bags as well.
- Speaking of felt projects, I adore this felt donut tutorial from crafster.org. Without the hole in the middle and covered instead with a splotch of red “jelly”, these donuts would be perfect play food for the holiday.
- Anyone else remember the Juggling Frogs blog? I can get lost in her archives forever. Although this post is several years old, I think the idea of making a magnetic candle set out of those ubiquitous promotional magnets is as fresh – and frugal – as ever.
- Not exactly high art, but sometimes coloring sheets are just what the harried mommy ordered. I like these from Torah Tots.
- And finally, while it’s not crafty per se, my favorite Chanukah activity with children is making sufganiyot (jelly donuts). I’m sure everyone has their own recipe, so I’ll just leave you with this little tip that allows even my toddler to enjoy this potentially unwieldy baking project: We use (new) 5 mL syringes to squirt jelly into the middle of the fried donuts. Be sure to use seed-free jelly so it doesn’t jam the syringe and, if necessary, you can water it down a bit as well. Then just insert the tip of the syringe into the side of the donuts and slowly depress. My kids never seem to tire of this jelly donut hack! [MiI: Readers, please share recipes in the comments.]
I’m sure my list is just skimming the surface of Chanukah crafting, so I’d love to hear from you, too: What are your favorite arts, crafts and cooking projects for the Festival of Lights?
Mara Strom is the Kosher on a Budget blogger. She writes about living a rich and fruitful Jewish life that doesn’t multiply your budget. She and her husband have two sons, born in Israel, and one daughter, born in Kansas.
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