While it’s nice to have Hanukkah games on hand – like Hanukkah Bingo – you can plan a Hanukkah party for your family, for a few families, or for your kids and their friends without spending tons of time or money.
Think music. Think food. Think activities/crafts.
Hanukkah songs to set the mood
While we’re cooking and cleaning and wrapping and coloring, I like to listen to lively Hanukkah music.
One of my faves is always “Candlelight” by the Maccabeats. It just makes me happy, happy, happy! And our little guys love watching this video.
And I just discovered their “All About That Neis [miracle],” which is a take-off of “All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor. This is a perfect song for some group clapping and dancing.
Also check out their “Burn” video, based on Ellie Goulding’s song.
I highly recommend Chanukah, A Singing Celebration with Cindy Paley. This wonderful 16-track CD includes lovely-to-my-ear versions of the classics and the blessings – and lots more. You can even choose to buy the songs you like best as MP3s.
A compilation you might enjoy is called Celebrate Hanukkah with Debbie Friedman, Craig Taubman and Peter Yarrow. Peter Yarrow’s “Light One Candle” is a personal favorite; you can easily find the guitar chords for this online. And I’m also a fan of almost-anything Debbie, including “Not By Might – Not by Power.”
Shira Kline’s CD, ShirLaLa Chanukah! Sing and Dance,” is self-described as “outrageously hip Jewish kiddie rock.” This one would be great fun for a group of kids, a family, or a class, because there are lots of participatory songs with children’s voices.
Hanukkah party parade
For us, because parading is such an integral part of our celebrations, we love cranking up these Hanukkah tunes from YouTube:
Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah spoof is also very popular, though our little guys aren’t ready for it yet.
If you have musicians in your midst, get some piano or guitar music ahead of time. I was amazed at the choices when I searched for “Hanukkah sheet music.” A good source is http://JewishMusic.com which now has music you can download, as well as the piano books I’ve traditionally purchased.
But if you have kids who enjoy creating in the kitchen, have a cupcake decorating party. Kids two and up can help with decorations, from adding sprinkles to pressing little pieces of candy on top. Older kids can spread the frosting and embed pieces of gelt or an upright ore0in the cupcake frosting (as in the photo above).
Older kids can create more intricate designs using cake decorating tips and frosting bags. They can even make cupcake toppers using seasonal symbols, like dreidel shapes and Jewish stars.
Create a cupcake menorah – ta-da!
Finally, for the big wow moment (good any night of Hanukkah), take nine of your cupcakes, put Hanukkah candles in the center of each one, and place them in a row to create a cupcake menorah! To make the “shamash” cupcake, just turn over a small glass and place a cupcake on top – so it’s higher than the others.
Want that cupcake menorah to be entirely edible? Use pirouette cookies instead of candles and voila!
This idea – of a cupcake menorah – even made it to actual menorah form this year and is available from many Judaica shops.
Hanukkah Shopping – Hanukkah Bingo Game
Now on Sale! Hanukkah Family Fun Kit. Marked down to $29.99. A whole party in a box PLUS lots of educational info to help you feel comfortable leading your family celebration – including Hanukkah Blessings Tutorial!
Click here to see what else is in stock for your Hanukkah celebration.