Our Favorite Kid-Friendly Hanukkah Games and Activities

Nov 02, 2021  |  By Evelina G

Hanukkah is coming, which means it's time to plan fun activities for your kids to keep them happy and entertained all eight nights!

We’re bringing you our favorite Hanukkah games and activities that are fun for the whole family. Build Jewish pride and holiday joy in your little ones in creative, interactive ways that will build memories for years to come!

1. Dreidel

dreidel

Of course, we have to start off with the classic Hanukkah game, dreidel! 

Legend says that during the Greek occupation of the Holy Land which outlawed Torah learning (and led to the rebellion from which we get our Hanukkah origins), Jewish children learned in secret and would pull out a spinning top if a Greek soldier passed by, to give the illusion of simply playing. 

The dreidel has been a classic game played till this day – and is a festive, interactive way to keep your whole family entertained this Hanukkah season. And, it will help your little ones practice their math skills, too!

RULES:

Make sure you have everything you need for a game of dreidel with our festive, Israeli-made dreidels – fun to play with and beautiful enough to display when not in use!

2. Puzzles

Teach your kids about the rededication of the Temple and the miracle of the menorah oil while they build a fun 3D puzzle model of the Temple itself. Or, DIY it by taking a photo of your own local synagogue and having it made into a puzzle.

What better way to keep your children busy on a cold winter night and teach them Jewish stories than through a Jewish puzzle or building kit?

3. Board Games

chess copy

Some Medieval European Jewish communities had a custom of playing card games or board games such as chess throughout the night of Christmas Eve, in order to stay vigilant in case of pogroms. Board games have thus for some people eventually become associated with the entire winter holiday season. Today, in happier circumstances, this tradition makes for a fun Hanukkah family activity!

Get ready for board game night with our gorgeous game set made out of deluxe olive wood from the Land of Israel and crafted by Israeli artisans, with carved wood game pieces included for chess, checkers, and backgammon.

4. Maccabee Hide-and-Seek

Your kids can build forts and “caves” around the house using sheets, couch cushions, etc. and then play hide-and-seek in them. For a twist, everyone can have one “freebie” – if they are playing dreidel when they’re discovered, they get another chance to hide.

5. Hanukkah-themed Charades

Have a classic game of charades but give it a Hanukkah twist by choosing on-theme concepts to act out. Think Maccabees, Judithfamous Hanukkah foodsmenorahcandlesdreidel, presents, and more.

6. Hands-On Tic-Tac-Toe

Use Hanukkah-themed physical objects to play a hands-on game of tic-tac-toe: two different sets of candies or gelt, different colored dreidels, or candleholders like those from our interactive tic-tac-toe menorah

Get your kids excited about the Festival of Lights with their own colorful menorah that doubles as a tic-tac-toe game they can play when not lit.

7. 20 Questions: Famous Jewish People Edition

Write names of famous Jewish people throughout history – actors, politicians, Biblical figures, etc. – on small pieces of paper. Tape or pin one name to each player’s back, without them seeing what it is; throughout the evening, players have to try to figure out who they are by asking strategic questions of the others. See who can do it in 20 questions or less!

8. Treasure & Scavenger Hunts

pexels-rodnae-productions-6115396

Set up a gelt treasure hunt for your kids, or organize a Hanukkah-themed scavenger hunt. Create a list of holiday related items for your kids to look for – such as all-blue items, anything that lights up, or a set list of things beginning with “H” for Hanukkah.

9. Top Latke Chef

With so many latke recipes and variations out there, how do you choose the best one for your family or to serve at your holiday party? Why not have everyone make their own version, and delegate a judge or judges to choose the best one! And if your kids are old enough to participate, a contest is a perfect way to get them excited about cooking and about Jewish food.

You can even make it competitive with prizes such as gelt, dreidels, or other small gifts.

You’ve got the food, but don’t forget to set your holiday table right (with help from the whole family, of course!) with our top Jewish tableware from Israel.

10. Forbidden Hanukkah Word

Before your Hanukkah party or family dinner, choose a forbidden word. It’ll be most fun and challenging if it’s a common holiday-related word like “Hanukkah,” “menorah,” “light,” “latke,” etc. Everyone gets five items at the beginning of the evening – such as safety pins or rubber bands they can wear – and whenever they’re caught saying the forbidden word, they must take off/surrender one of their items. The person with the most items at the end of the night wins!

Don’t forget a fun prize like extra treats or a special Hanukkah toy or gift.

11. Modified Dreidel Games

After playing the traditional dreidel game, change it up by using the spinning top for different kinds of games:

Do you have enough dreidels to keep your kids and guests entertained? Check out our exclusive collection.

12. Dreidel Scattergories

Have each letter of the dreidel stand for a category (for example Hanukkah songs, Hanukkah foods, things that light up, etc.). When a player spins, they must shout out a word in the category of the letter the dreidel lands on. It gets harder (and more fun!) as you go because you can’t repeat what was previously said!

 

13. Hanukkah Crafts

pexels-cottonbro-4039176
pexels-cottonbro-4038246

14. Put on a Hanukkah Play

Have your kids put on a Hanukkah play for the rest of the family and guests – whether to act out the story of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Temple, Judith slaying the Syrian-Greek general Holofernes, or their own made-up modern story involving a Hanukkah miracle.

15. Other Activities for Kids

Teach your child the value of charity, or tzedakah, this Hanukkah with our beautiful tzedakah boxes from the Land of Israel.

Comments