Hanukkah Holiday in the Classroom

Hanukkah, also called Chanukuh, is the eight-day Jewish commemoration of the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C., where according to Jewish legend, the Jews had risen up against their oppressors. Hanukkah, which means "dedication" in Hebrew, begins on the 25th of the Kislev on the Hebrew calendar, which usually falls in November or December. Often called the Festival of lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games, and gifts.

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Israel - Hanukkah Celebration Poster (KidsSoup member)

Hanukkah Celebration and Word Wall


Preschool Activities: 
Hanukkah Celebration, Symbols, and Word Wall (KidsSoup Resource Library)

The Menorah Preschool and Kindergarten Activities

On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, a candle is added to the menorah. The ninth candle, called the shamash (helper), is used to light the other candles. People often sing carols around the lit menorah. 

Menorah Felt Board Activity (KidsSoup Resource Library)

Menorah Candles Numbers Activity (KidsSoup Resource Library)

Lighting the Candles 

(Tune: I've Been Working on the Railroad)
(Author Unknown)

I am lighting all candles
on the Hanukkah night.
I am lighting all the candles,
to see them shining bright.

Flicker, flicker, little candles,
fill me with your glow.
Now it's time to count them,
ready, set, and go.

Menorah Hand Print Artwork

Light the Candles Bright
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
Original Author Unknown

Oh, light the candles bright,
And dance around the light.
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
It's Hanukkah tonight.

Spin the dreidel round,
And watch it falling down.
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
It's Hanukkah tonight.

Latke treats to eat,
And family to greet.
Heigh-ho the derry-oh,
It's Hanukkah tonight.

Menorah Worksheets and Coloring Pages (KidsSoup Resource Library)


The Dreidel Preschool and Kindergarten Activities

The Dreidel Song 
(Author Unknown)

Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
I made it out of clay,
And when it's dry and ready,
My dreidel I shall play.

Dreidel Preschool and Kindergarten Craft (KidsSoup Resource Library)


Dreidel Songs and Movement Activity (KidsSoup Resource Library)

Another Hanukkah custom is playing with dreidels (four-sided spinning tops). The Hebrew word for dreidel is sevivon, which means "to turn around." Dreidels have four Hebrew letters on them that stand for nes godal haya sham, which means "a great miracle occurred there."

Dreidel Game and Rhyme (KidsSoup Resource Library)

Here's how to play the Dreidel game:

  1. Any number of people can play the game. Each player begins the game with an equal number of game pieces (about 10-15), such as pennies, raisins, nuts, etc.
  2. At the beginning of each round, every player puts one game piece into the center pot. Also, each player should put a game piece into the pot when the pot is empty or there is only one game piece left.
  3. Each player gets a chance to spin the dreidel. Depending on the outcome, the player gives or gets game pieces from the pot: Nun means "nothing." The player does nothing. Gimmel means "everything." The player gets everything in the pot. Hey means "half." The player gets half of what's in the pot. Shin means "put in." The player puts a game piece into the pot. When one person has everything, that game round is over.

Although gifts are often given during Hanukkah, the original Jewish custom is to give gelt (money) or chocolate gelt rather than presents.

Hanukkah Foods

Traditional Hanukkah foods are fried in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jam-filled donuts).

Hanukkah Book Suggestion:

Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story

Five Little Latkes Story Felt Rhyme (KidsSoup Resource Library)

Five Little Latkes Felt Story Rhyme 

Potato Latkes Recipe


View more preschool and kindergarten Christmas activities and crafts


KidsSoup Resource Library 


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