Hanukkah is the eight day celebration that commemorates a miracle which happened more the two thousand years ago. Celebrated each year, Hanukkah is an occasion for Jewish children to learn the importance of the beautiful tale about faith winning over tyranny.
All children, whether Jewish or not, benefit from learning the beliefs, history and traditions surrounding the festival of lights. The traditions and the tales can be taught to children through various ways, which include books, games, activities, crafts, and family traditions.
Whether your child has a favorite holiday book or you are introducing Hanukkah to them for the first time, you will find that there are many wonderful books about the festival of lights. Some explain the origin of Hanukkah and others tell stories about the spirit of the holiday. Whether you are following tradition or trying to start a new one, here are some wonderful books for you and your child to share, such as D Is for Dreidel (by Tanya Lee Stone) and Hanukkah Moon (by Deborah Da Costa) for very small children and How I Saved Hanukkah (by Marla Feintein) and The Story of Chanukah (by Sarah Leon) for older children.
Spin the dreidel! A dreidel is a pointy, four-sided top. Go with your child to purchase a dreidel or make one at home. Afterwards, spend time explaining the significance of the letters that are on the sides of the dreidel- shin (there), hey (was), gimel (great) and nun (miracle) – which together mean a great miracle happened here.” There are many variations of the dreidel game, but it is basically a game of chance. You and your child will have fun spinning the dreidel!
Other Hanukkah related games could include word find puzzles and word scramble games.
ACTIVITIES & CRAFTS
When you are dealing with very young kids Hanukkah may be too overwhelming for them to learn all the history. Start simply by giving them color pages that help tell the story. Use dreidels, menorah, Stars of David.
As children get older, more elaborate craft projects can help you teach them about Hanukkah and the miracle of the oil. You and your child can make a menorah. You can make Hanukkah door wreaths or wall banners. .Through crafting, your child will have fun learning the significance of the eight candles, the story of Hanukkah and decorating your home.
Also, technology can be your friend when teaching your children about Hanukkah. There are interactive teaching tools available that have useful printouts about the holiday. Little Einstein’s even has a menorah and a dreidel game.
FAMILY TALK & TRADITIONS
Telling the history of Hanukkah and explaining the legend of the menorah are great ways of getting your children to know and understand the holiday. When telling the story, appreciate their level of comprehension. Be true to the history and don’t embellish. Let them know about the brave Maccabees, who managed to defeat a harsh King and who reclaimed the Holy Temple. Explain about the oil, the menorah, and the miracle that lasted eight days.
Teach children about the Jewish calendar and that Hanukkah occurs on the 25th day of Kislev. Also, let them know that Hanukkah starts around the time of the new moon.
Just like most holidays there are special foods we eat and enjoy on special days. For Hanukkah, your family may have its own tradition. Latkes and soufganiyot would be fun for you and your child to make together. Remember basic kitchen safety. As you fry your treats, tell your child how these foods became traditions.
Teach your child songs for Hanukkah. You can find them in texts from local bookstores or seek suggestions from a local rabbi, cantor or even your child’s teacher.
Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, is a wonderful time for family and remembering the miracle of faith. Teaching your children about this incredible midwinter festival will give help them have fond memories of the holiday for the rest of their lives.
For more guidance and resources for teaching your child about Hanukkah, check out the following websites.
Original Article from Celebrations360