Count the Days with a Hanukkah Craft

Can you believe December is here already? Hannukah starts this week and Christmas will be here before you know it! Are you ready? Make sure you have everything you need to make menorahs, dreidels, ornaments, wreaths, cards and gifts. Hygloss Products has all the arts and crafts supplies you need for the holidays and year-round. And here’s the great news: get $20 off your next order of $100 or more of quality Hygloss Products by entering coupon code SPE1120 when you check out. This offer is good until December 31, one time only per customer.

And make sure you enter Hygloss’s exciting holiday sweepstakes! Click on the link to be entered to win a gift certificate worth $100 to help buy all the craft and teaching supplies you need this holiday season.

Hanukkah is on its way, and with it dreidels (spinning tops), latkes (potato pancakes), and of course, glowing Hanukkah candles. No matter what your students’ ethnic or religious background, you should teach a diverse curriculum that includes everyone in the melting pot that is America. Hanukkah crafts are a great way to incorporate a multicultural curriculum. The Hanukkah story is an enchanting one, where the good guys beat the bad guys and miracles abound. Tell your class about how the Greeks destroyed all the olive oil so the Jews had none with which to light their menorah (candelabra). Finally one small jug, with just enough oil to burn for one night, was found. But it would take eight days to make more oil. What would they do? Miraculously, the oil lasted eight nights, until more oil was produced, so the light of the menorah did not have to go out. Here’s your chance to help your students learn to count, as the holiday is the perfect time for learning numbers 1-8.

Hanukkah is a great opportunity for kids who are learning numbers. With this kids craft, your students will have the chance to number the candles and learn to count count each of the eight days of Hanukkah as the candles “light up” one by one. First you’ll need two paper plates for each child, in whatever colors they choose. Draw a line down the center of one of them, and have kids paint half the plate yellow. On the second plate, help children draw a menorah, or they can glue on one that you’ve cut out of colored paper in advance. They can use all kinds of materials for the nine candles of the menorah (one for each day of the holiday plus the “shamash,” or helper candle – which is slightly taller than the others – in the middle). Some ideas include colored craft sticks, festive ribbon cut to size, or even carefully placed rows of stickers. Kids can add a flame to the shamash candle, using yellow tissue paper or cellophane or gold metallic foil paper, or by simply coloring or painting it on. The rest of the flames need to be cut out from the plate (you’ll probably want to have that done in advance, as well as poking a small hole in the center of each pair of plates). Finally, your students will push a paper fastener through the center of both plates. When children turn the top plate, it moves over the yellow half of the bottom plate, lighting up the candles one at a time! Count how many candles are lit up every day to keep track of what day of Hanukkah it is. Kids will be thrilled at the amazing Hanukkah crafts they’ve created.

I recommend having a candle lighting ceremony in your class so that your students can make the connection between the Hanukkah crafts they’ve made and the candles on an actual menorah. (Don’t forget to incorporate your “learn to count” lesson when lighting the candles on the menorah!) You can have a whole Hanukkah party, complete with Hanukkah songs, jelly donuts, and dreidel games.

Counting down to fun!

Lorie

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