New Twist on Dreidel
It is quite possible you have some preschoolers who celebrate Hanukkah. This game is set with their traditions in mind. Preschoolers who are aware of the Hanukkah traditions will understand the game. They can also help you in educating other children in your class about Hanukkah.
Dreidel is a game that is played during the Hanukkah celebration. It was derived from a time when the Jews were not allowed to study the Torah. It might be quite a complicated game for preschoolers so here’s a new twist on playing it.
First you must have a Dreidel top. This is a four sided top with which the game is actually played. Many preschoolers who are familiar with the Hanukkah traditions will know exactly what it is and how it is played. They might be able to play a game or two the way it was originally designed for the other preschoolers to see exactly how it is played.
For now we are going to put a new twist on the game that will be fun for all preschoolers involved. Play it like musical chairs. Set your preschoolers in a circle. Place the Dreidel in one of their hands. Play Christmas music that all the children know. When the music starts the children start to pass the Dreidel around. When the music stops whoever is holding the Dreidel is eliminated from the game. The game continues until only one child is left. The winner gets to keep the Dreidel.
Playing Dreidel this way will not only give preschoolers who celebrate Hanukkah a chance to have some of their traditions brought to the classroom but will also help to teach other preschoolers about some of the Hanukkah traditions and combines the music of Christmas and the traditions of Hanukkah into one.
Make a Menorah
If you’re trying to teach preschoolers some of the different ways people celebrate the holidays then Hanukkah is sure to be a part of the teaching. There are many different things that are included in the Hanukkah traditional celebration. One of the most prominent parts of the celebration is the Menorah. The Menorah is a seven-branched candelabrum that is to be lit with olive oil. It is very significant to the tradition of Hanukkah.
When teaching preschoolers about Hanukkah have them design their own Menorah. They can decorate it and take it home to place on their bedroom wall or refrigerator. This will give them a little of their own Hanukkah tradition even if they don’t celebrate in their own home.
Start by finding a Menorah template on the Internet or in a book at the library. This will be used for the children to trace around to begin making their Menorah. Sturdy white construction paper or a heavy poster board works well when tracing and cutting. Have the children trace around the template and then with your help cut it out to decorate.
You will need to supply them with gold, dark brown, red, yellow or orange crayons and glue. The traditional Menorah is gold so the children will want to color their Menorah almost completely gold.
The cups of the Menorah are based on almond blossoms, a knop or an imitation of the fruit of an almond and a flower. These should be colored a darker brown on the Menorah. This will help the children keep with the tradition of the actual Menorah.
Now for the candles. Before starting the Menorah be sure to cut out candle shapes from the white poster board. Each child should have seven candles to place in their Menorah. Once the Menorah is colored, have the children glue each candle to the back of each branch of the candelabrum. You want to make sure the candle stands above the cups about 2 to 3 inches. Leave the candle’s actual color white as they usually are in an original Menorah.
After the glue has dried have the children color the tips of each candle with the red, yellow or orange crayons. This will create the flame on the candle. Now your preschoolers have their own Menorah to take home.
Teaching preschoolers about Hanukkah is a great way to let them know how other families celebrate the holidays all around the world.