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Get the kids involved in decorating for Hanukkah by designing a menorah with wooden blocks.

Discussion Points for Parents/Teachers

  • Talk about Hanukkah family traditions.
  • Talk about the symbols of Hanukkah and what they mean.
  • iscuss color, symmetry and patterns.

Supplies

  • 10 one-inch wooden blocks
  • Tempera or acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paper plate for paint
  • Paper to cover workspace
  • Water cup (to rinse brush)
  • White glue
  • Colorful, patterned cardstock or scrapbook paper (optional)
  • Gems or decorative stars (optional)
  • Cool melt glue gun with glue sticks
  • 10 3/8-inch metal hex nuts
  • Hanukkah candles

 

Directions

  1. Paint the blocks in colors of your choice. Note: for this project, one menorah was done in traditional blue and silver; the other in bright colors that match the scrapbook paper.
  2. Allow blocks to dry.
  3. (optional) If decorating with scrapbook paper, cut the paper in one-inch squares to fit the front of the blocks. Adhere with white glue and let dry.
  4. Glue nine blocks together in a row. Glue the tenth block on top of the center block (fifth from the end) for the shamash (main candle used to light the other candles). If using white glue, wrap a strip of painters tape around the entire row of blocks to hold it together until it dries completely.
  5. Use glue gun to adhere one hex nut to the top of each block.
  6. (optional) For blocks that are painted only, decorate the front of each block with a gem, star or other decorative element.
  7. Place candle in each hex nut.

 

Tips

  • Find wooden blocks at your local craft store.
  • Buy hex nuts at a hardware store.
  • Hex nuts come in many sizes. To ensure your candles fit, take them with you to the hardware store when you get the hex nuts.

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Alyssa Navapanich is an award-winning elementary art teacher in Lemon Grove (east San Diego County).

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