The Festival of Lights is right around the corner! This year, consider supplementing the typical toy list with some traditional Jewish gifts to teach kids about Hanukkah. Here are some of our favorites.
Night 1: Mensch on a Bench
The Jewish version of Elf on the Shelf, Mensch on a Bench is a Hanukkah tradition designed to bring families together. Made popular after appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank, Mensch on a Bench is a plush named Moishe that you can hide around the house. A mensch is a person of integrity and honor. The product has expanded to include other plush toys including Mitzvah Moose, Ask Papa, Dreidel Dog and Hannah the Hanukkah Hero. Starts at $19.99.
Night 2: Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf
In this adorable Hanukkah story, Shmelf is one of the hardest working elves in the North Pole. But just as he’s double checking Santa’s list in preparation for Christmas, he notices that some children who celebrate Hanukkah are missing from the list. When he investigates further, he discovers the wonderful traditions of Hanukkah. Best for ages 3 to 6. $17.99.
Night 3: My First Dreidel
Teach your kids how to play this classic Hanukkah game with their very own dreidel set, which can serve as a keepsake for years to come. This product comes complete with a dreidel, coins and a carry bag to store all of the winnings. $20.
Night 4: Tzedakah Box
Tzedakah is a Hebrew word meaning “righteousness”, but commonly used to signify charity.
There are lots of ways to do tzedakah, but the most common way is giving money to the poor or other worthwhile causes. Let your child start collecting money with their very own bright and colorful box. $5.
Night 5: Children’s Menorah
A menorah is the traditional symbol of Hanukkah. Teach your child its historical significance while letting them “light” their own Menorah each night. $33.17.
Night 6: Potato Pancake Mix from Manny’s
Photo courtesy of Manny’s Deli
Latkes – or potato pancakes – are the staple food served on Hanukkah. And no one makes it better than the famous Manny’s in Chicago. Order a box or two of their mix and create a family cooking tradition best served with a side of applesauce and sour cream. $9.00.
Night 7: Hanukkah Activity Book
Keep the kids entertained for hours with this Hanukkah-themed activity book featuring mazes, coloring pages, word searches and more. Each interactive activity also teaches children stories about the holiday. $6.95.
Night 8: Hanukkah Bingo
A fun addition to a family Hanukkah celebration, Hanukkah Bingo is fun for kids ages 4 and up. Kids will have fun waiting for their pictures – like dreidels, menorah and gelt – to be called. This game also serves as a nice introduction to the vocabulary of this special holiday. $18.95.