Hanukkah is around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with some fun, family-friendly games. Below you’ll find ideas to spend time together having a great time this holiday season!
Spin the Dreidel – This holiday classic is a fun time for all. You’ll begin by either purchasing, or making a single dreidel for each group of four to six individuals. Then, the part all children love – the candy! Distribute an even amount of candy to each child (it’s recommended to pass out two dozen candy pieces per child). If you are health conscience, then you could come up with a nutritious treat to give.
To start, each individual will place a single piece of candy in the center pot (you can use a bowl to keep everything in one spot). Each child will then take a turn spinning the dreidel and will either add more candy to the pot, or collect their winnings. If at any time a child wins the entire pot, you will repeat the process with the remaining candies until no more candy is left to distribute from each player. The child with the most candy at the end is the winner.
Look online for the appropriate symbols to paint on each side of the dreidel if you are making your own. I will break down what each means (most dreidels will have the word below the symbol):
NUN: Do not add or take any candy.
GIMMEL: Take the entire pot of candy.
HEY: Take half of the candy in the pot.
SHIN: Add 1 candy piece to the pot.
Pin the Candle on the Menorah: This is a twist on the classic Pin the Tail on the Donkey game. You’ll begin by drawing (or finding online and printing) a large menorah. If you would like to play this game multiple times, I recommend laminating the menorah so that the tape doesn’t ruin it.
Next, draw, cut, and laminate many candles in all different colors (bold bright colors are great for young children – you can even write their name on a candle to make it personal). Place a loop of tape towards the end of one side.
Blindfold the child and spin them slowly three times before facing them in the direction of the menorah and letting them attempt to stick the candle on the target (menorah). The person who comes the closest to fitting the candle properly on the menorah will win!
Hanukkah Jigsaw Puzzle – For this game, you can play online for free by clicking HERE. Or you can create your own puzzle. You will begin with a sheet of paper and draw out a festive Hanukkah picture that will be easy to interpret once in pieces. A Menorah is a great idea. Then cut it into pieces (large pieces for younger children), and let them enjoy putting the pieces into the correct places.
Menorah Race – To create this fun game, you will have to decide on how many teams there will be. Then, for each team you will need the following items: 8 toilet paper rolls, 1 paper towel roll, paint, and some sort of block base that will serve as the menorah – a flat piece of wood works well for this.
Have the children paint the eight toilet paper rolls and the paper towel roll (or you can do this ahead of time). For added appearance, you can staple red/yellow construction paper or tissue paper to the end of the “candle stick”.
Now, divide up the teams you’ve planned and set the “menorah block” at the farthest point of your race area. Then, place the paper towel candle at the middle of your block menorah. Each child will get a toilet paper candle. To confirm we are all on the same page, I’ll clarify: each team should have 8 toilet paper candles, a block base at the end of the “track”, and a paper towel candle (Shamesh) in the middle of the block menorah (to basically signify the middle candle).
The race begins! Each child will take a turn in relay fashion. They will take their candle and run to the block menorah and place their candle upright on it. Then, the child will run back and tag their teammate who will begin their run to the menorah to do the same. This repeats itself until all candles have been placed on the block menorah. The first team to complete the menorah with all candles – wins!
Hanukkah Bingo – This is a fun game for the whole family to enjoy. You can print your very own themed bingo board out for free by clicking HERE. Please note: The first page is simply to chose the type of bingo board you want, the NEXT page is where you will pick your Hanukkah theme. Enjoy!