Hanukkah starts Saturday, December 24th.
Our daughter is now contemplating how to do themed nights, where the presents lead to family fun activities – focusing on togetherness vs. on getting loot. Since we are a games-loving group, this should be very doable.
It is my tradition to create personalized calendars for our little boys. So we will plan a calendar night, where the calendars will be that night’s presents. To expand the calendar concept, we’ll plan some calendar-based games. Each boy’s calendar has a theme, so we can play guessing games about what is on each month. (We could even incorporate charades into that. See below for more about charades.)
Recently, we learned that our guys are old enough for charades. To make this fun for all ages, we chose titles of books and characters that the little ones knew – making it a tad easier for them, and a tad harder for the adults.
Imagine our son-in-law getting “Moo, Baa, La La La” as his book to act out! He happens to be amazing at charades, so it all worked out. For a Hanukkah version of charades, we can choose words, characters, books that are about Hanukkah.
The present that night could easily be new Hanukkah books with titles that become part of that evening’s charades.
We also learned that a game of spoons is great for kids 4 and up.
Many of us like working on group art projects. A perfect one is the design-your-own Hanukkah banner that is in our Hanukkah Games Box and in our free downloadable “Happy Hanukkah Art & Activity Pak.” You can have up to 7 people each take a page to color, bringing it all together to create a six-foot-long hanging banner. If you choose this activity, you can offer fresh new crayons, markers, and glitter glue as presents for the evening.
Or you can have a painting evening, using luscious new paints, clean brushes, and thick paper as the presents for that night. Take a look at this watercolor fruit art project from creativejewishmom.com. Everyone who is playing could paint a picture that then decorates the house throughout the holiday.
Other ideas: you can buy a new board or card game to play as a family. Have a DIY gift night, where you present to each other what you’ve made. Or, if you’re a musical family, have a jam session. And definitely consider a dreidel competition (with a new batch of dreidels and bags of gelt).
To find more inspiration that will work for your family, check out these two articles: Eight Bright Ideas for Hanukkah-Themed Family Nights and How to Do 8 Nights of Hanukkah Without Creating Spoiled Brats.
More Art Options
In our brand new Hanukkah Fun Pack In-A-Bag, you get a bag o’ fun projects for the whole family, including how to make edible dreidels and edible menorahs, a Hanukkah cut-and-color activity that is great for young children, Hanukkah coloring pages, and a design-your-own banner.
UPDATE: As of this moment, we’ve almost sold out of the Hanukkah Fun Packs! So check out the Hanukkah Bingo Game instead. From *lots* of experience, I can tell you that it’s a blast to play with multiple generations at home or in a school setting.