Tonight is the night to focus on the actual story of Chanukah. Sometimes we forget in all the candles, doughnuts, latkes, parties etc. to actually focus on the “true meaning of Chanukah”. I like to take one night to focus on the story and the meanings behind it.
Sitting down and talking about the story is not the best way to do this because then it becomes a chore that no one is really interested in!
8 Ways to Make the Story of Chanukah Come Alive:
Act out the Story of Chanukah. Have your kids (or yourself) put on a little show about Chanukah.
- Become Maccabees. Maccabees are the heroes of our story and everyone deserves to march around signing “Mi LaHashem Aley”. This adorable Maccabee shield will get your little Maccabees to really feel the part. You can get into the action earlier in the day by making the shield with those kids who are interested or you can make them for your kids as a surprise.
- Household items make great dress up items. A paper towel roll is a great elephant nose (of course, you need an elephant to be a good Greek soldier) and a dishtowel draped on a head makes a good biblical kaffiyeh. Sheets can be used for Greek togas. Historical accuracy is not really the point here. There is plenty of things around the house that can be used to make a cute play!
No story is complete with songs!
- Sing a Song! Singing all the traditional songs as a family or as part of your play is a great way to get everyone in the festive spirit. Don’t know them? Check them out here!
- Music Videos! Let’s move to the present day by listening (or watching) these great music Chanukah music videos!
Learn More about the Chanukah Story.
Are you feeling a little out of your depth because either you don’t know much about the story or because you have no way to transmit it to your kids? Here are some places to learn more about Chanukah and some activities you can do.
- Teacher Vision has some great write-ups, videos, and activities about Chanukah. This is mainly geared towards teachers and the classroom but there is no reason you can’t adapt them to your own home. See here.
- We love PJ Library! Not only do they have a great blog with great information and activities but don’t forget to sign up to receive a free Jewish book every month! I am so grateful to PJ library for the books and activities they send us every month. See here.
- Inspire Yourself. If you are looking to explore more about Chanukah and how it applies to us today Aish.com is THE website to head to. Check it out for stories, articles and inspiration.
- Share What You Learned. I love putting the work on other people so you can easily do this with family or friends. Go around and have each person or child share something about Chanukah to the group. Kids can share what they learned in school or sing a song. It can be a cute thing to record as well so you have the cuteness for posterity! Nothing like a video of your child singing the wrong words to a Chanukah song to laugh about every year!
Chanukah, Channuka, Channukah, Hannukah, Hannuka, Hanuka…. No matter how you spell it you can celebrate! Check out all the things you can do this Chanukah here.