When I was a little girl, Hanukkah was one of my favorite holidays. It is festive, fun, and we got presents. Actually, back when I was a girl, it was not Hanukkah toys, but rather Hanukkah gelt – small chocolates in the shape of coins, along with a few token coins of actual money.
As the years pass, and other December holidays dominate the shopping season, Hanukkah gift-giving seems to have gotten bigger. However, there is no relationship between Hanukkah and Christmas other than the time of year they are celebrated.
In our family, Hanukkah toys and gifts are purely for kids. As adults, we celebrate the holiday by reciting the prayers, lighting the candles, and doing no work while they burn.
While gift-giving today runs the full gambit, with some families keeping up with their Christmas celebrating neighbors, in our family, we stick to a simpler environment. We have found Hanukkah toys, those that represent the holiday or tell the story in some way, to be great gifts for younger children, while Hanukkah crafts are great for older children.
Our favorite Hanukkah toys and crafts:
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Hanukkah toys: Menorahs
The Hanukkah menorah, or Chanukkiah, is possibly the most significant symbol for Hanukkah. Used to hold the candles that are lit for each of the nights, it represents the oil that burned for eight nights.
A toy Hanukkah menorah is a great way to engage children with the holiday.
Hanukkah toys: Dreidels
"I had a little dreidel. I made it out of clay. And when it's dry and ready, oh dreidel I will play."
Who else remembers this song from their childhood. Well today, it's even easier. There is no need to make the dreidel yourself, and there are even some fairly cool ones out there. Here are our favorites.
We found that as our kids got older, they preferred Hanukkah crafts to toys. Here are some that look like loads of fun and result in beautiful artwork.
Hanukkah puzzles and games
Puzzles and games are another way to get children involved with the holiday while they are having fun.
More Hanukkah toys
Here are two more options that didn't quite fit into any of the categories above.
More great options for children
Another great option is to get kids their own menorah. We like this idea so much, we made a separate page for it. Check out our favorite child-friendly menorahs here.
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