This is going to be a short and sweet post because I'm not feeling well.
Today in school. we decorated the letters for our bulletin board! First, I cut out the letter spelling "A Freilichen Chanukah"- But you decide what words you'd like to have up on the wall. If you have more kids than letters, cut out duplicates, and either hang them in more than one place, or only use the letters that you need.
I set out the letters on the table with a variety of glitter glues. At circle time, I showed the kids how to make tiny polka dots, and we practiced the refrain "Dot, Dot, Not a Lot". Then we went over to the table and had a ball dotting our letters! They're going to look great up on the walls!
Chanukah is coming much faster than we think, so I'm going to post a few Menorah options today.
The basic supplies that you'll need for all of the Menorahs is:
3x12 plank of wood that is apps. an inch high
9-10 3/8" Hex Nuts
1 Beer bottle Cap- optional, can be switched for the 10th hex-nut
Most supplies for Menorahs can be found here
Prep the wood by sanding down the edges. For older kids, you can sand it most of the way, and then provide the kids with the sandpaper to complete the task.
Next, place a small amount of wood glue onto each penny, and immediately stick a hex-nut on top. These are your candle holders. For the shamash, glue the penny onto a beer bottle cap (see photo) or simply glue a second hex nut under the penny for the added height.
Paint your wood a base color. You can choose a metallic paint, or just the regular crayola washable variety.
Now, depending on the Menorah, you will need to follow different instructions.
For the striped Menorah pictured below, you'll need painter's tape, and an additional color of paint. First, cut 4-6 inch strips of tape and have the kids tear the strips so that the lines are jagged and narrower. Stick the tape down any way you'd like onto already painted wood. Using a paintbrush, paint the entire piece of wood the second color. Either when the paint is dry, or right away, peel off the tape to reveal your two toned Menorah, Now you can stick the candle holders on in a straight line, with the shamash wherever you choose. As an additional option, you can stick on rhinestones to add some sparkle, or use some glitter spray that can be found here
For the gravel Menorah, you will either need colored gravel, or you can color rice for the same effect. Coloring rice involves placing the rice in a bag with a little bit of paint and shaking it around so that the paint distributes. For this Menorah, you'll want to glue on the candle holders first. Once they've dried (anywhere from 1-24 hours) spread a nice amount of wood glue onto a small section of the wood, and cover it with the gravel. Shake off the excess, and repeat the process with another color. Keep doing this until the whole Menorah is full.
The next Menorah is simple. You only need some glitter glue to decorate the painted wood, and then stick down the candle holders.
Finally, for the CD Menorah, you'll want 3-5 cds per Menorah. Lay 3 cds out with the shiny part facing upward. Then place 2 more cds next to each other on top of the 3 (see photo). Attach the candle holders, careful to keep the 8 candles on the 2 cds so that they are all level, and place the raised shamash anywhere you'd like. You can add beads or rhinestones for a more sparkly effect. When lit (see photo) the flames create rainbows on the mirrored cds.
Up until now, I've been providing you with Chanukah ideas, but no Menorahs! Thus starts the Menorah parade. I will break up the Menorah ideas with other Winter or 5 Senses related crafts.
For this Menorah you will need:
1 foot square Tile
12 Bottle Caps
9 Nuts- 3/8 inch
Strong Glue- either Wood Glue or Tacky Glue would work well.
The menorah Brachos printed on a 3x5 piece of paper, or smaller
Magazines for cuttingMost Menorah supplies can be found by clicking here
1. Distribute recycled magazines that have a lot of color to them- think clothing magazines, oriental Trading Co. magazines, food magazines, gossip, or anything that's not a boring business magazine. Have the kids cut out spots of color- not necessarily a whole picture just what will become paper mosaic scraps.
2. Paint the entire tile with Mod Podge, then stick as many pictures as you can on the glue- overlap them!- and repaint with more mod podge. This will seal in the pictures and give the Menorah a high gloss.
3. When the tile is dry, Glue 8 bottle caps across the diagonal of the Menorah, with a 9th cap lying upside down. You'll build that last one taller for the shamash. If you would prefer, lay out the 8 caps across a horizontal line on the tile and place the shamash either in front of, or behind the 8.
4. A teacher should stack 3 more bottle caps (see photo for technique) on the upside down shamash.
5. Once all caps are dry, glue a single penny onto each cap, followed by a nut. These are your candle holders.
6. Finish off by gluing or mod-podging the card with the brachos!
This is the first of what I hope will be many different alphabet ideas. These cards are great for stimulating the sense of touch with your kiddos. You can pass them around at circle time, or just keep them on your discovery table.
Instructions are simple. Just create the letter of the week using a different collage material on each card. You can do as many cards as you have patience to create. Use pom poms, glitter glue, popsicle sticks, foam, felt, sandpaper, bordette paper, crumpled tissue paper, tin foil, pipe cleaners, beads, pasta, rice- sky's the limit!
This is a great Chanukah craft that doubles as a recycling craft!
What you'll need:
Washed and de-labeled can- I prefer the pop top cans because they don't have any sharp edges.
First, choose a base color paint and paint the entire can. Before setting it to dry, you can add glitter to the paint anklet it shimmer. Once it's dried, you can decorate the can either by gluing themed paper cut-outs like Chanukah pictures, or snowflakes for Winter, OR, you can water down a couple other colors of paint just enough for the paint to be able to be sucked into droppers, and have the kids use droppers to squeeze globs of paint onto the can, letting it run down the can. This will look like the colored candles are melting!
Fill with a box of Chanukah candles and send home!
Check out this wonderful and adorable Turkey craft. These are great for the kids to take home, or to use as a centerpiece at your school's Turkey Day Feast!http://iheartcraftythings.blogspot.com/2011/11/apple-turkeys.html
Until now, I've been focusing on the Art center in your classroom. From here on out, I will try to post other center ideas as well.
For Chanukah, there's Dreidel sorting! Here's what you'll need:
a bunch of dreidels in 2 different sizes, multicolored
a sheet of colored paper coordinating with each color dreidel that you'll be using
a black marker.
Using the black marker, draw a larger and smaller empty dreidel on each sheet of paper. Place the whole mix of dreidels into a basket, bowl, or plate, and set the multicolored papers around the dreidels. have the kids sort the smaller dreidels into the smaller drawing, and the larger into the larger drawing. Remind them to match those colors!
For the past few years, I've combined teaching Chanukah with teaching the five senses. here's a great sight craft and game that can be made more or less difficult depending on the ages of the kids.
You will need:
An empty clear water bottle with the labels completely removed. I found a Voss water to work best in terms of shape and the labels remove super easily. A less expensive but equally good option is a seltzer bottle- I find that those labels are more easily removable, however, the mouth of the bottle is far narrower.
Foam or other handmade mini menorah
Mini wrapped gifts ( I used about 1/4 of a raisin box)
16 0z of rice
Take your Chanukah items and place them in the bottle, fill the rest of the bottle 3/4 of the way with rice and seal the bottle. If you're worried that the little ones will open the bottle, use a glue gun around the cap to really seal it. For older kids, put fewer and smaller items, and give them a checklist of items to find.
We all make those same Menorahs that hold colorful wax candles- each with hour own unique twist of course, and now, here's a way to prevent the table from getting some gorgeous colorful wax stains on it!
What you'll need:
One sheet of construction paper per child
1" x 1" pictures of menorahs
1" x 1" pictures of the kids preparing for Chanukah
a single 2" x 2" picture of each child
Fold a sheet of paper in half and draw half a menorah so that when you cut it out and unfold it you have a full menorah. Half the menorah would be 4 branches and a half of the shamash. cut out the menorah, making sure that you now have a complete menorah frame, and the actual paper menorah. Following the preparations for stained glass, cover one side of the menorah frame with contact paper. Set the menorah cut out aside for later. Then, give each child his/her larger photo to place face down in the center of the menorah. Once every child has his/her photo down, show the kids to stick on the various menorah pictures as well as the pictures of themselves getting ready for Chanukah. Once they've filled the menorah, cover it with a second sheet of contact paper. Now you have a fantastic menorah mat that's sure to be saved and cherished of years to come!
As a separate craft, you can take the menorah cut out and have the kids decorate it either by painting, doting, coloring, etc. Then, provide the kids with the Brachos (Blessings) printed in Hebrew and transliterated/translated depending on the community you are catering to. Laminate these with contact paper too!