Menorah and Dreidel Snowflakes

Make snowflakes in holiday shapes!

on-window

Full confession – snowflakes are just not my thing. I always seem to cut the wrong side and the whole thing falls apart, or my design just looks like a bunch of weird holes. But! thinking about the winter holiday of Chanukah, it seemed like snowflakes and Chanukah shapes just had to come together. My original idea was to have dreidel-shaped pieces of paper to cut into snowflakes but once you started to cut further designs into the dreidel, it lost it’s recognizable shape. It took many tries, but I finally hit on the idea of having the negative space form the dreidel. It looked a little plain with just a dreidel, so I also added a menorah. Snowflakes: consider yourself conquered!

done

We decorated with glitter glue, but as always, there is no wrong way to decorate these. If we had had glitter in the house, I was thinking of mixing some into paint and giving some shine that way, but plain old crayons will certainly get the job done should your horror of glitter extend as far as mine.

Hang them on the window where you are lighting your menorah and add some extra holiday spirit!

Looking for more Chanukah projects?
Light a Paper Menorah
Nature Menorahs
“Spinning” Paper Dreidel
Decorate a Dreidel…with a Dreidel!

Menorah and Dreidel Snowflakes

Time:
Active: 5 minutes for cutting (assuming you get it right the first time!), 10 minutes for decorating
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint or glue

Age: 4-7

Materials:
Paper
Scissors
Something with which to decorate the snowflakes – something glittery adds winter spirit

Process:
I recommend an adult do the cutting here to make sure it works out correctly. Fold your paper into eighths by folding in half, half again and then half again.  I unfolded the paper here to show you how it looks but keep your paper folded.

folded-paper

On the side with the folded seam, cut the shape of half a dreidel.

just-dreidel-side

On the opposite side, about halfway up the center of the dreidel, cut the shape of half a menorah. We just cut a shamash, since all eight candles seemed too hard, but if you are a scissor whiz, go for it! (Cut just 4 candles, since we are only cutting half of the total shape.)

both-sides-cut

Unfold and here is what it should look like!

all-cut

Feel free to keep cutting shapes around the edges, I just felt it was chancy and I might end up messing it up so I stuck with just the holiday shapes.

Decorate however you wish and then hang in the window!

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“Light” a Paper Menorah

Even the youngest child can light a paper menorah!

lit

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start getting ready for Chanukah! I wanted to make something for kids who are old enough to know that we light a menorah on Chanukah but who are not old enough to be trusted with actual fire. Enter this paper menorah.

Start with a blank menorah. Draw your own (don’t forget flames!) or download the template here. We decorated our menorah by gluing on squares of tissue paper, which the kids really enjoyed but of course you could use markers, crayons or whatever you prefer . When it dried, we cut it out and then used paper fasteners to create flames that can be rotated upwards it’s time to “light” them.

none

Where are all the flames?

three

Tada! It’s the third night of Chanukah!

We use cardstock for our menorah which turned out not to have been a smart choice when if came time to attach the flames. The paper fasteners are not strong enough to poke through it on their own so I had to laboriously pre-poke holes in both the menorah and the flames and rotating the flames is a bit tough when done. Just use regular paper and you should be fine.

Looking for more Chanukah projects?
Nature Menorahs
“Spinning” Paper Dreidel
Decorate a Dreidel…with a Dreidel!

Lighting Paper Menorahs

Time:
Active: 15 minutes for decorating, 10 minutes for assembly by adult
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint or glue

Age: 2-8

Materials:
Drawing or printout of menorah and flames. Download the template here.
Something with which to decorate the menorah – we used squares of tissue paper and glue but paint, markers, crayons, or stickers would be great too.
Scissors
9 paper fasteners

Process:
Print out the template or draw your own menorah and decorate. Don’t worry if you go out the lines because it will be cut later. Let dry if needed.

assembled

Cut out the menorah and flames. We decided not to cut in between each branch since once the paper fasteners were attached they would weigh down the flimsy branches.

Attach flames by poking the paper fasteners from front to back. Turn over your menorah and decorated side facing out, slide the flame on to the fastener. Open fastener flaps and make sure flame can rotate.

poking

When you have all of the flames attached, here is what it should look like:

back

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Decorate a dreidel…with a dreidel

Use a paint-dipped dreidel to create a splatter effect on a paper dreidel.

done

The kids were digging through a box of old projects and pulled out something my older daughter brought home last year. They dipped dreidels in paint and spun them on a dreidel-shaped piece of paper, creating a great splatter effect. So we tried it out at home.

This is definitely a messy project – get out the smocks and table covers for this one.  I wouldn’t recommend this project for kids much below 5 years old. You need to know how to spin a dreidel and also how not to fling paint everywhere.

spinning

I tried using 2 sizes of plastic dreidels. I found that the bigger one worked better and got a more effective splatter than the smaller one.

You could use the same method to decorate any Chanukah shape. Try spinning on a plain sheet of paper. Then cut out latke shapes, and glue them on to a paper cut in the shape of a frying pan. We’d love to see what you come up with!

 

Dreidel-Decorated Dreidels

Time:
Active: 15 minutes

Age: 5-8

Materials:
Construction paper
paint
plastic dreidel
bowl to hold paint

what-you-need

Process:

Get ready for a messy project by putting on smocks. Cover your table surface with newspaper or a plastic disposable tablecloth. Or, be prepared for a decent amount of wiping up.

(This shows a pieces of the mess on my non-covered table).

mess

Cut a out a dreidel shape from a piece of paper. You can print my dreidel template or draw one yourself. Check out “Spinning Paper Dreidel” for detailed directions on how to draw a perfect dreidel.

Pour a small amount of paint into a bowl. Dip your dreidel in.

dip-in-paint

Spin your paint-dipped dreidel on your paper dreidel! Repeat until the shape is as covered as you like it, or until the kids loses interest.

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“Spinning” Paper Dreidel

Create a dreidel that “spins” but won’t fall down!

dreidels

My daughter came home from school excited to tell me about the dreidel she painted in school. She ran to her bag to show it to me…and of course it had not yet been sent home! This caused many tears, so we had to do a dreidel project at home to make for it.

This project requires a some adult cutting and measuring, but a whole lot of post-project playing! It also uses one my favorite supplies, paper fasteners. I always liked the idea of a paper fastener, but never had the good fortune to own my very own box. I had my husband gift me a box for this project.

The basic idea here is simple. Cut out a paper dreidel with a window, and then attach a spinning wheel to simulate the spinning of a dreidel. We used card stock rather than regular paper because I thought it would hold up better. If you don’t have that, I would suggest construction paper, but really any paper will do.

kids-coloring

You can draw your own dreidel and wheel, or for your convenience, you can download the  dreidel template and just print it out. I give detailed directions about how to measure yours below. As you can see in the picture, ours ended up with a small amount of space in the window because were doing this on the fly. For the template, I enlarged the wheel so it should cover the full window.

“Spinning” Paper Dreidel

Time:
Active: 15 minutes

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Paper (card stock or construction paper ideal, but really anything will do)
Paper fastener
Crayons, markers, or decorating tools of your choice

Process:

Cut a out a dreidel shape from a piece of paper. You can print my dreidel template or draw one yourself. This part sounds complicated, but it’s really fairly simple. If you don’t care too much about having it perfectly even, feel free to just eyeball the measurements.

Here is how I did it.
1. Find the center of your page and mark it.
2. Make a diagonal line from that mark to a point on the side of the page.
3. Using a ruler, measure straight across from the top point where the line hit the side of the page and mark it.
4. Make a second diagonal line from the center mark to your new mark. This ensures the 2 bottom lines are even.
5. For the dreidel handle, put your ruler across the width of the whole page, positioning it at the top of the page. Mark at 3″ and 5.5″. Draw a 2″ line down from each of those marks.
6. Cut out the squares on the top of the page, and the triangles on the bottom.
Perfect dreidel!

Cut out a window from your dreidel. Decide where you want your spinner to be and make a pie-shaped wedge cut out, approximately a quarter of your circle but with a slightly smaller diameter. I made my pie shape by tracing the circle on the back of the dreidel, and then making an “x” through the circle. The top quarter became the pie shape I cut out. and  I made the template 3″, the picture shown has a 2.25″ width but I think the slightly bigger size would be better.

Have your kids decorate the dreidel. We kept it simple with just markers.

Make the wheel. Cut out a circle .5″ bigger than the diameter of your window. The template is 3.5″. Add a Nun, Gimel, Hey and Shin, rotating the circle so each letter is upright in it’s quadrant. I didn’t have the kids color the wheel because I thought it would be hard to read if it was scribbled on.

Attached the wheel at the base of the window with a paper fastener. I used a push pin to start the hole and poked myself in the finger, so be careful when poking, especially if you are using heavier paper!

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Nature Menorah

Combine Chanukah with the end of fall for a nature walk and project in one!

done

Once Rosh Chodesh Kislev arrives, Chanukah is in the air! We did our first Chanukah project today. It combined Chanukah and fall. We went out on a walk to collect leaves and sticks. We snagged a beautiful red one right outside of the shul on our way home from a morning program there to get us started. Once we got home, we combed our yard and block. Our neighbor had a tree with perfect, small red leaves but other than that, it was slim pickings. We did out best to find a variety of shapes and colors that were not crumbled or wet and found some thin sticks as well. It was freezing so we worked quickly. We did manage to collect more than enough for each girl in a variety of shapes and colors.

leaves

After a lunch break, the kids broke the sticks into small pieces and arranged them on the paper.

arrange-sticks

We then painted the sticks. While the sticks were drying, the kids kept painting – both on paper and paper towels!

painting

paitned-sticks

This passed the time until the sticks were dry enough to glue down. We used the leaves to act as the flames of our menorah.

done2

The kids were proud of their projects! They really enjoyed combining fall with Chanukah.

Nature Menorah

Time:
Nature walk: 10 minutes, because it was freezing. If it’s warmer where you are, take your time and have fun with it!
Active: 20 minutes
Drying: 15 minutes+

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Sticks and leaves
Paint
Paper
Glue

Process:

Collect sticks and leaves. Try to find straight sticks that will adhere to the paper without popping up in the middle. Moister leaves work better than brittle ones.  A variety of shapes and colors will really make the menorah come alive!

Break the sticks into smaller pieces and arranged them on your page. Then painted the sticks. I put a piece of scrap paper underneath the sticks to protect the table while the kids painted. The kids then painted each stick.

Let sticks dry.  Glue down the sticks onto a clean sheet of paper in the shape of a menorah. Put the shamash wherever you want – center or end is traditional but anything goes.

Have each kid pick out 9 leaves from the collection we had amassed and arrange them on their menorah to represent the flames. Use a variety of sizes to get them all the fit. Once you have then arranged to your satisfaction, glue them down. It probably would be nice to put some heavy books on top of them as they dry to help the leaves stick better, but it’s not necessary.

Alternately, press the leaves by putting the between wax paper until Chanukah. Glue on one leaf each night!

Did you do this project? Share your pictures on our facebook page!

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