The Hanukkah story: More than 2,000 years ago a large group of Jews — called the Macabees — rebelled against their oppressors. They were victorious over the larger Syrian army, but during the rededication of their temple, they found that there was only enough oil to illuminate the temple's menorah for one night.
But to their surprise, it lasted for eight nights. That miracle is why people of the Jewish faith light the menorah each night during Hanukkah.
Hanukkah, also known as Chanukah or the Festival of Lights, is rich in traditions for many families. Here are 8 ideas on how to celebrate the 8 days of Hanukkah with kids in 2022:
1. Play dreidel
Dreidel is a simple, but fun game that even the youngest kids in the family can enjoy! All you need is a dreidel and a pile of items (such as chocolate coins, real pennies, beans, or candy) distributed equally amongst the players. Learn to play!
2. Mold your own Hanukkah candles
This craft is so easy and fun for all ages — simply buy a special candle-making kit, which means there is no muss, no fuss and — best of all — no big clean up. You can find kits at craft stores or online.
3. Build a Hanukkah-inspired craft
The Jewish Museum in New York City highlights four artist-inspired Hanukkah craft projects for families and kids, including creating a colorful clay menorah, and a sculptural Hanukkah lamp.
4. Fry latkes
Latkes are as much a tradition during Hanukkah as the lighting of the candles! What's not to love about this crisp, fried potato pancake served with applesauce or sour cream? Switch it up this year with this sweet potato latke recipe.
5. Get a new book
6. Make jelly donuts
Like latkes, jelly donuts are a traditional Hanukkah food because they are fried in oil, symbolizing how the oil lasted 8 days. This simple Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts (Sufganiyot) recipe from King Arthur Baking is delicious, and easy enough kids can help make this special Hanukkah treat.
baseimage via Canva
7. Give gifts
Many Jewish families exchange or give gifts during Hanukkah, often one small gift each night like gelt (chocolate coins), books, pajamas, or games.
8. Make a Tzedakah box
Another Hanukkah tradition is collecting money into a box, called a tzedakah box to share with someone (or an organization) in need. Kids can create and decorate a box to collect coins to donate. A tzedakah box can be a simple but effective way to show kids that every little bit matters and how much giving back matters.