My children still tease me about some of our Chanukah traditions. I must admit, with eight days of Hanukkah gift giving and a limited budget, I often found myself pushing the boundaries of creativity. I often used the holiday to buy them “gifts” that satisfied “needs” rather than “wants” and always designated at least one day to reinforce the importance of Judaism and the Jewish traditions of performing mitzvot and giving tzedakah.
FYI >> We always switched up the order of the nights so the kids never knew which night would be the dreaded (often embarrassing) personal hygiene night
Traditional Gift Night
We tend not to start off the holiday with traditional gift night because once our children get the gift they are pining for nothing else quite measures up. So we make them wait for this gift. Anticipation is 3/4 of the fun!
Grooming & Personal Hygiene Night
Hanukkah Game Night
Much has changed since my children were little. With the advent of printable games, this could very well become one of the most fun, least expensive nights of the holiday. Here are a few of our favorite printable Hanukkah games and activities.
This night is especially valuable when Hanukkah falls during Winter Break!
Judaica | Tzedaka night
Play a round ( or two or three) of dreidel and let your children choose which charity to give their winnings
Another idea is to start a menorah collection and unveil that year's menorah on this night! For example, in 2016 kids were going crazy for emojis so you might pick up an emoji menorah 🙂 Eventually, as the kids move out to live on their own, they can choose a menorah or two to bring with them.
Food & Drink Night
Think latkes, chocolate gelt and creative donut displays. One idea is to display donuts (sufganiyot) on a rectangular Hanukkah serving platter or long wooden serving board and don’t forget the candles!
Serve gelt, snacks, donut holes, or even cupcakes in these printable Hanukkah Dreidel cupcake wrappers
Sports & Physical Fitness Night
Although not related to Hanukkah in any way, we like to encourage our children to engage in active play!
Since every night is reading night …
Limited Edition Plush Mensch On A Bench With Blue Tallit (As seen on Shark Tank)
And one more idea, you might want to make the First Night of Chanukah Pajama Night. Yes, there actually are Family Matching Hanukkah Pajamas!