Friday, December 07, 2012

Hanukkah Themed Montessori Activities: 8 Days of Crafts, Snacks and Culture

NAMC montessori activities hanukkah 8 days crafts snacks culture lighting menorah
Lighting the Menorah
Cultural holidays provide a wonderful way to incorporate fun activities into the Montessori classroom while celebrating the diversity of your students and the wide world we live in. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, is the perfect way to create a week-long theme for fun activities to highlight all curriculum areas.

As part of the Hanukkah ritual, a candle is lit for each day, and many Jewish families exchange a small present each evening. Rather than having an entire day chock full of Hanukkah activities, why not try introducing one each day? Children will enjoy the chance to look forward to each day's surprise; it will also help teach them about the passage of time, and the traditions of Hanukkah. As well, this is a valuable way for you as a teacher to practice calm and unhurried behavior - having each evening to prepare one activity is much simpler than organizing many at once!

Enjoy this assortment of Hanukkah themed Montessori activities and ideas for your classroom!

Hanukkah Themed Montessori Activities: Eight Days of Crafts, Snacks, and Culture

Circle Time Calendar / Candle Activities

NAMC montessori activities hanukkah 8 days crafts snacks culture burning candleWhile it is not possible to have candles continually burning in the classroom, morning calendar time is the perfect opportunity to have a  Hanukkah 'candle lighting.' Children can count the candles each day as they increase. Hanukkah begins on a Saturday in 2012, so you can light three candles on Monday while explaining the activity and the significance of light.
  • Create a set of construction paper cutout candles about one foot tall and glue them to a poster board (you could even create a cutout Menorah). Each day, attach a pre-cut construction paper 'flame' above the candles.
  • Use empty paper towel tubes and wrap them with a colored ribbon for decoration; these can also be used for candles. To create the flames for each day, tear squares of yellow, orange, and red tissue paper, and tie into a bundle around some cotton balls. Make sure you use enough of the cotton that your bundle will stay in the end of the tube without slipping inside.

Snack Time

Invite the children to make sandwiches in the shapes of numbers to signify the eight days of celebration. Make sandwiches with fillings chosen by the children. Cut out the sandwiches with cookie cutters in the shapes of numbers 1-8.


Invite the children to share any Hanukkah songs they know, or share some new songs with the children. Sing together during circle time, after 'lighting' the candles. Visit for a selection of children's Hanukkah songs. 

NAMC montessori activities hanukkah 8 days crafts snacks culture children playing instruments
Singing Hanukkah songs while playing instruments
Counting and Transferring

During Hanukkah, the tradition of Gelt is the gifting of money to children. Gelt giving helps to teach children about charity and kindness, which are perfect values for the Montessori classroom! Check out your local dollar store: they almost always have bags of plastic coins, which are ideal for counters or objects for transferring activities.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Friday, December 7, 2012.


  1. Thank you!! Wonderful ideas to keep hands and minds working!


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