Happy Hanukkah! Exploring the Jewish season

Celebrate Hanukkah with your Kids

Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends! Our lovely founder Clo has a part Jewish family, so lots of celebrations are underway at her house. Today we’re sharing a little more about the festival, and how, whether you celebrate or not, there’s plenty to learn and explore with your little ones at this special time of year. So without further ado, let’s explore!

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah, often known, like Diwali, as the festival of light, remembers the rededication of the second temple of Jerusalem. Candles are lit on a special item called a Menora each day of the festival to celebrate. Many prayers and scriptures are read from a spiritual perspective, but many non-scriptural traditions have also arisen from this bright and light festival. We’ll explore these below, thinking about how you might like to practice or learn about them with your children!

Gift giving and coins

As with Christmas, many Jewish families give gifts to celebrate Hanukkah, particularly for children. At Eeny Meeny, we have a fantastic selection of stocking fillers you might like to give to the little ones in your life to celebrate: our Christmas Gift Guide can be used as a Hanukkah gift guide! For a more traditional take, though, you might like to share chocolate coins or ‘Hannukah gelt’ - a practice of giving money and wealth to the younger generations. Perhaps you might then take the chance to explore spending versus saving, for older children.

Games and card playing

Games and card playing are an important part of Hannakah traditions. Think candlelight, extended family and friends, and a big stack of games and snacks! There is plenty to learn from this tradition if you aren’t Jewish - think family connection, simple, cosy evenings, and a big dollop of festive fun. You are in luck if you need a big list of games - our favourite brand is Londji, and we have a blog post all about the best games for different ages. If you’re after something a little simpler and on the go, why not try OMY’s selection of card games, ranging from classic favourites like Happy Families through to funny strategy games like Mistigri. Moulin Roty’s gentle offerings are perfect too, like this cosy Odd One Out game, while HeadU offers educational, puzzle-style games, ideal for quiet moments of solitude and individual players.


All of these fun games and activities pair perfectly with tasty traditional Jewish snacks. Latkes are a delicious savoury option: a fried potato pancake that lends itself to a myriad of different toppings. Great for nibbling while playing family games, or as the main event! If you are in the mood for something sweeter, sufganiyot, a doughnut-beignet hybrid is a wonderful treat. Why not try making latkes or sufganiyot with your children to really embrace the season? If you are Jewish, what a wonderful way to get the little ones involved - if you are simply exploring and learning about the festival, you might research more about the heritage and background to these recipes, and try comparing them to traditional treats that are part of a season you already celebrate as a family.

Happy Hanukkah!

Whether you are observing the famous Jewish festival as a person of faith or simply exploring the celebrations of others, we hope our ideas inspire you to connect with your little ones!

Emily Hanson

Freelance Writer, Education and Play Specialist

Emily Hanson is a freelance writer with specialisms in education and play. Emily holds a PGCE and M.Ed from the University of Cambridge - although her proudest achievements are her two beautiful daughters.

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