Happy Hanukkah everyone!
It’s a season of light and brightness, and a time to make memories with kids!
This week as we celebrate G-d’s protection over Israel and the spread of His light, we are taking the week off of school to fully enjoy a relaxed holiday. My 5-year-old has been begging for more Hanukkah crafts after creating an aluminum foil menorah (in all it’s fire hazard glory), and with a little more time on our hands thanks to the lack of school work, I had a little more time to deliver a fun creative activity.
It doesn’t take much to nudge a child’s creativity. Put paint and a blank piece of paper in front of them and they’ll be satisfied. However, after seeing a friend put together these adorable foam menorahs for a Hanukkah party activity, we got into a conversation about how this was the time to instill memories in our children and make these holidays interactive. Although it can be cumbersome, putting in the effort to set up little crafts, especially crafts that invite parent involvement, help create the warm nostalgia our kids will become fond of. Especially if they are crafts you can keep.
The craft I choose to introduce this week not only satisfied my son’s request for a Hanukkah related art, but it also created beautiful decorations I will carefully store away for years to come.
These suncatchers ended up with a lovely “stained glass” effect that is now beautifying our foyer, and simple snowflakes have joined the collection of past popsicle stick creations hanging from our banister.
What actually worked surprisingly great was the fact that there were many steps involved. This meant my son was able to sit down for a task and then get up to pursue whatever distraction caught his attention. When he wanted to sit back down for another round of crafting, the glue or paint was dry enough for the next step.
Although we used the Magen David and dreidle as our shapes for the suncatchers (and snowflakes for the ornaments hanging off of the banister), you can incorporate whatever ideas you discover or come up with. Chances are, I’m probably going to find other designs for other seasons.
What you will need:
Twine, Ribbon, or Wire
Glitter for the snowflakes (if you so choose)
The first step is to assemble the shapes of the suncatchers or ornaments.
To create the Magen David shape, simply create two triangles using six popsicle sticks, and placing the triangles on top of one another with one triangle upside down.
The dreidel design requires six popsicle sticks. Two sticks are placed parallel from one another, with one stick connecting them at the top. Two sticks are glued to the bottom of the design, coming together diagonally from the two parallel sticks. At the top add one stick to create the handle.
The snowflakes are the easiest design, with two Xs or Ts on top of each other using four popsicle sticks.
Once the designs are glued and dried, it’s time to paint them! The dreidels and stars were painted variations of dark blue, white, and gold. The snowflakes were painted white, followed by a sprinkling of glitter…because I’m brave like that.
(But actually…the baby got into the glitter, later on, making my choices a little more regrettable)
At this point, the snowflakes are done as soon as they are dried!
When the paint is dry, tie to the top of the ornament whatever you are using to hang your design.
And then it is time to add the tissue paper. Choose what colors to include, and cut the paper into small pieces. It doesn’t matter if they are all uniform.
On the BACK of the popsicle stick designs, lay the tissue paper across the sticks. It’s okay if there are pieces sticking out where you don’t want them showing. You can cut trim them up later. Make sure the entire design is covered.
Take a paintbrush (we used a foam brush) and dip it into a mixture that is one part water and one part white glue (fun fact: this is often a good substitute for modge podge).
Dab the tissue paper with the glue mix until the entire design is covered.
Leave them to dry completely (ours took overnight). I recommend propping them up on something if you use newspaper to catch drips since the newspaper will end up sticking to the tissue paper.
Cut off any access tissue paper that sticks out along the sides, and you’re ready to hang them in a window!
Whatever holiday you are celebrating this season…may this time find you happy, healthy, and filled with Shalom!