Inside: These simple Hanukkah Activities for Toddlers are the perfect way to keep your toddler busy and learning during the holiday season.
For these activities, I partnered up with Jayme from the blog Teach, Talk, Inspire and the popular toddler activity Instagram account @teachtalkinspire.
To see her version of these activities, make sure to hop over to her Instagram account.
What are some good Hanukkah Activities to do with toddlers?
Whether you’re doing preschool at home or simply looking for ways to engage your toddler in meaningful play, these activities can help you accomplish just that.
With these activities, your toddler will learn:
- The traditions of Hanukkah
- Rules for messy sensory play
- Fine motor practice
- Early math skills
Related: Holiday Resources for Moms of Toddlers
Easy Hanukkah Activities for Toddlers
1. Marshmallow Dreidels
This dreidel activity is *so* easy & you really only need 4 simple things to make it happen.
Perfect for those long, no-nap afternoons when you really need something to keep that toddler busy & entertained: this is it.
You could even pair said dreidel snack with a hot cup of coffee and I would say just invite me over for that. Sweets + coffee = all day, every day
Here’s what you need:
✨Big marshmallows (not the mini ones)
✨A little bit of frosting or Nutella (Jayme’s Tip!)
How your toddler can help:
- First, read a Hanukkah book and talk about the tradition of playing dreidel. We read “Spin the Dreidel” by Alexandra Cooper. If you have plastic or wooden dreidels to play with, take them out & let your little one explore.
- Then, have them push the pretzel sticks into the marshmallows.
- It’s probably easiest if you spread some frosting on the Hershey’s kisses and then your toddler can “attach” them to the bottom of the marshmallow.
When you try this activity at home, be sure to tag me @becauseisaidsobaby & Jayme @teachtalkinspire so we can see your creation!
2. Hanukkah Playdough Tray
I LOVE setting up play-dough trays with loose parts as this typically produces A LOT of independent, creative play. Play-dough just has that effect on kids, right?
Plus, since mommy can’t really run around being the “spider monster” at 20 weeks pregnant, sitting and doing play-dough is the perfect way for me to play *with* the girls as well.
Now, in our house we celebrate *both* holidays as I’m Jewish and my husband is not. Unchecked, that can end up being a whole lot of toys. Last year for Christmas, we decided to give the girls several gifts to share like Duplo sets, art kits and outdoor toys.
I also made some homemade gifts like play-dough kits which were a HUGE hit.
To turn this Hanukkah-themed play-dough tray into a gift, all you have to do is pack up the contents into a plastic bead box (I get mine at Michael’s) and tie a bow around it. Ta-da! A homemade gift that keeps on giving.
P.S. – How amazing are these Hanukkah playdough mats? You can get these + Christmas mats & tons of other holiday activities for 2 & 3 year old’s in Teach, Talk, Inspire’s December Learn & Play Pack.
Here’s what’s in my tray:
⭐Play-dough (storebought or homemade)
⭐Hanukkah trinkets (candles, dreidels, gelt, etc.)
⭐Play-dough mats (mine are in sheet protectors & taped to the table)
⭐Plastic tray (mine is from Dollar Tree)
3. Hanukkah Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are one of my *favorite* tools for play. All you need are a few basic things and then you can sit back and watch the magic unfold.
You can learn how to make a basic, 5 minute sensory bin, here, and a Thanksgiving sensory bin, here.
I like to use a wide, shallow bin, as this is the easiest for them to reach their little hands in.
This type of sensory play promotes fine motor skills, creative play, and problem solving. PLUS it helps teach little ones about the traditions of Hanukkah through play.
Here’s what’s in the bin:
- White rice & blue dyed rice
- Mini Menorahs, dreidels, play gelt, candles, & cookie cutters
- Scoops & funnels
And just a quick tip regarding messy play:
Set the ground rules first. “Everything must stay in the bin.” If they start throwing the rice or dumping it out, put the lid back on and say “The rice needs to stay in the bin. We’re going to put this away and try again later.” And then follow through by putting the lid on the bin and putting the bin away.
4. Menorah Math or Menorah Matching
This is a great learning activity + a fun holiday activity as well.
My 5 year old is currently working on numbers & adding in her kindergarten class (yeah, I don’t remember kindergarten being that hard, either!!) so this was great practice for her.
Here’s how to set it up:
⭐ Draw a menorah
⭐ Then draw yellow circles for the candles
⭐ Write simple addition problems inside the candle “flames” or just write numbers for toddlers.
⭐ On yellow label stickers, write the answers to the addition problems or just the matching numbers.
The goal is either for them to add up each problem & find the answers, then put the sticker in the right spot OR match the correct numbers.