Hanukkah Gelt

Hanukkah Gelt

Hanukkah gelt is a festive treat for the Festival of Lights. Make this Hanukkah gelt even more special by creating the gold coins our of chocolate-dipped apricots! Some scholars believe that the biblical Tree of Knowledge wasn’t full of apples, which didn’t grow in the Middle East at the time, but instead held ripe apricots. This recipe for Hanukkah gelt uses the same fruit dipped in chocolate for a fun and healthy alternative to the traditional chocolate coins. This Hanukkah gelt can be given to children as a gift or used in a game of Dreidel.

What You Need:

  • 24 whole dried apricots
  • 16 oz dark chocolate (sweetened)
  • Parchment paper
  • 24 aluminum foil candy wrappers

What You Do:

  1. Melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly to make sure it never boils. If you like, you can use a double boiler, but this is not necessary.
  2. Remove your chocolate from the heat when the chocolate is completely melted – smooth and glossy, without any lumps.
  3. Dip each apricot into the chocolate so that half of the fruit is fully coated. Carefully place each apricot on a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Once each apricot is dipped, refrigerate them until they are firm, for about a half an hour.
  5. To give them away as chocolate gelt, wrap each piece in a small, square piece of aluminum foil, so that they look like coins.
  6. The gelt can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or eaten right away.

Your children can give small gift bags of the apricot chocolate gelt to other children as a Hanukkah gift, or it can be used to barter in the game of dreidel. Enjoy!

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Hanukkah Menorah Shape Collage

Hanukkah Menorah Shape Collage

Celebrate Hanukkah by creating a dazzling paper menorah using simple shapes! Shape recognition skills are a basic part of your young child’s budding math development. Try this collage activity that will encourage him to identify, create, and use geometric shapes such as rectangles, squares, and triangles.

The Hanukkah Menorah Shape Collage can also be used to introduce numbers and counting. Mark each of the eight nights by adding to this very special artwork. Extend the collage building over the course of the holiday, and remind your young artist to count the candles for each night as they are added.

What You Need:

  • Construction paper
  • Crayons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Optional: metallic paper or yellow/gold tempera paint

What You Do:

  1. Help your child create shape templates that will correspond with the collage. You may want to choose triangles or squares to build the menorah, and rectangles for the candles.
  2. Ask your child to trace the shape templates with a crayon. Help him identify each shape by name as you go along.
  3. Help your child cut out the shapes.
  4. Have your child build a menorah on a separate piece of construction paper by arranging the shapes together like puzzle pieces.
  5. Gently lift up each shape, and have your child glue it to the paper.
  6. Add long, thin rectangles each night of Hanukkah for candles.
  7. Here’s a safe way for your child to ‘light’ the Hanukkah candles: Have him cut pieces of yellow or gold construction paper (or metallic paper if you have it on hand), and then glue the paper flame to the top of the candle. An alternative way to create ‘lights’ is to use a small dab of yellow tempera paint.

Extend this activity over the course of the entire holiday. Discuss the significance of the menorah and Hanukkah candles with your child as he creates his own paper representation.

 

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Dreidel Ornament

Dreidel Ornament

This dreidel ornament is a fun Hanukkah craft for your child! During the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, families often play games with a dreidel—a four-sided spinning top. Make a sparkling dreidel ornament out of popsicle sticks to hang in your window, on a centerpiece, or even on your wall to give your home a festive look for eight days. Whether you’re celebrating the holiday or just learning about a different culture, this dreidel ornament project is fun to do and makes for a beautiful decoration!

What You Need:

  • 6 popsicle sticks
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Small paper plate
  • Blue glitter
  • Yarn

What You Do:

  1. Arrange the popsicle sticks in a dreidel shape. An easy way to do this is by making a “house” shape out of them. Start by taking two sticks and putting them together at a point, like a roof. Glue them together.
  2. Then glue two sticks vertically to the bottoms of those sticks, like walls holding up the roof.
  3. Glue one horizontal popsicle stick at the bottom, like a floor. It should look like a house.
  4. Finally, glue the tip of a stick vertically onto the center of the “floor” of the house-shaped sticks. Flip it over, and it should look like the outline of a dreidel! Let the glue dry.
  5. Pour a little glue on a paper plate and dip the paintbrush into it. Brush the surface of the dreidel with the glue, and invite your child to sprinkle the blue glitter over it, making sure to cover the whole thing. Set it aside to dry. After it’s dried, you can choose to glitter the other side or leave it empty.
  6. Tie some yarn through the dreidel and hang it in the window! It makes the perfect Hanukkah decoration. This project is also great for families that celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah, because you can hang the beautiful dreidel on your Christmas tree!

 

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