“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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Shavuot Flowers

Decorate Har Sinai or make a bouquet!

har sinai

In our dining room, we have one wall that is saved for hanging up the kids’ projects. It rotates seasonally, and we have school projects and crafts we have done at home. It’s at the point where it can never be blank, or it just looks like something is missing. Kids love having their artwork displayed and this being a very prominent location gives them a lot a pride.

Well, the Pesach projects were still hanging as of today, so I knew we needed to move on. We took down the matza and seder plate (school projects were saved for now, paper we cut into shapes and taped up there was recycled while no one was looking). And now, what could we put up for Shavuot? My daughter wanted to put up a big Har Sinai. Har Sinai itself ended up being both green and brown, based on what colors were left in the package of construction paper. Then we decorated it with some flowers that used paper and my favorite art supply, the paper fastener! These were really easy and came out looking beautiful.

flowers

Shavuot Flowers

Time:
Active: 30 minutes, depending on how many you make
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using paint

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Paper or flower template
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, etc.
Scissors
Paper fasteners

Process:
Draw your flower outlines, or download and print ours. I sized them so we would have a three layered flower in the end, with each flower being slightly smaller than the next.

Decorate in any way you want. We used watercolors, which have been a favorite recently.

kids painting

When they are dry, cut them out. This proved to be a bit tedious, but I stacked two sheets of paper together and cut them simultaneously. Stack the flowers with the largest one on the bottom and the smallest on top. Poke a hole with the paper fastener through the center of all 3 flowers.

If you don’t have a wall to hang them on, use a pipe cleaner instead of a paper fastener and make a bouquet! Decorate an empty bottle by pasting on squares of tissue paper and you have just made a lovely Shavuot centerpiece.

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Pesach Puppets

Act out the story of Pesach with adorable puppets!

moshe aaron

As I was cleaning up the remains of Purim, I gathered up a whole stack of puppets the kids brought home from school. I got to thinking – why does Purim get all the puppet fun? The Pesach story is just as dramatic and part of the Seder experience is to feel like we ourselves left Egypt. What better way then telling the story with puppets!

matza marror

Matza and Marror

A definition of terms – when I say puppet, you might be thinking of the kind made of a sock, or a marionette. My version is much simpler – just cut out some paper and tape it to a stick or straw. Much easier and friendly to make for any age. The kids absolutely loved doing these. We started them on Sunday afternoon and spent an hour decorating. We finished Monday after school and spent another hour making more and attaching them to the sticks. Obviously, your kids might be done in 10 minutes, especially if they are younger, but older kids can really use their creativity here. It isn’t a super fancy thing, but it really was so much fun.

Last year my daughter made a set of Pesach puppets all by herself, which yielded the amazing results only the drawings of a 5 year old can do. They were great fun, so I thought why not expand the repertoire and make not only puppets of people, but Seder objects too like mazta and marror puppets? Make a bunch and hand them out at your seder. Whenever the item on your puppet is mentioned, raise it up high! It’s a great way to keep kids interested, almost like searching for Haman in the Megillah. They will be waiting for the next mention of matza to wave their puppet! Many of them will be surprised that the Moshe puppet will be used only once throughout the whole seder and the whole story of Moshe in the basket isn’t mentioned at all. Create your own or download and print ours.

While they all came out adorably, we made a sea that splits and I think this might be my favorite one! We used both tissue and construction paper in as many shades of blue as we had that we glued on to a circle of paper. When it was dry, we cut it in half and then attached one end with a paper fastener. It didn’t seem like a good idea to put this one on a stick.

sea closed

Moshe holds his staff over the sea…

sea open

…and it splits!

The age of the kid will dictate how sophisticated these come out. My younger daughter did this one of Baby Moshe, of which she was very proud.

baby moshe

If you use them at your seder be sure to let us know!

Pesach Puppets

Time:
Active: 1-2 hours, depending on attention span
Drying: 15 minutes+ if using glue

Age: 2-9

Materials:
Paper
Something with which to decorate the paper – paint, markers, crayons, etc.
Decorating materials – tissue paper, construction paper, shiny paper, fabric, pompoms – the ideas can be endless!
Glue
Scissors
Tape
Popsicle sticks or straws
Puppet downloads

Process:
Draw your puppet outlines, or download and print ours. Decorate in any way you want. I liked gluing on ripped paper. We used light blue tissue paper for the salt water dish and construction paper for the shank bone.

progress

When they are done, tape to a popsicle stick or straw (I prefer the non-bending type for projects like this). For Moshe and Aaron’s staffs, I added an extra piece of straw perpendicular to the main straw, since otherwise they were flapping around and were sure to rip (look closely at the first picture in the post to see what I mean). If you are using our downloads, I felt popsicle sticks were too small for the scale of those cut outs, but if you make your own smaller ones, they will work great.

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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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