Thursday, December 10, 2009

“Menorah in a Box” Craft for Chanukah

candles 001Yet another craft idea borrowed from chinuch.org.  I love that site!  Without that site, Jewish homeschooling would be WAY  harder and I’d be spending all my time creating curriculum.

Naomi invited a couple of 3-year-old friends (and their little brothers) to come over today to do a small Chanukah thing.  Not a party; you can’t really call 3 girls (and 3 very little boys) a party.  But it was fun; she had tons of fun, and that’s the main thing. 

Chanukah stories, latkes (from a mix!), and a craft… and here it is:  my take on what was originally called The Clip & Light Play Menorah.

The original calls for the menorah to be built on a background of two wooden slats glued together for stability.  I substituted dollar-store unfinished wooden boxes, unhinged (like me!).  You glue the clothespins inside the box to make the menorah.  As a bonus, not only can the kids can decorate the outside, but it closes up nicely for storage (along with a few extra Chanukah trinkets that can fit inside, since the menorah part is very low-profile).

The one above is my sample that I threw together in about eight minutes last night.  My flames turned out a really stupid shape.  I may redo them; I was just in a hurry last night to eat and go to bed.  For Naomi’s, I did a better job.

menorahs 017

Here are two of the girls’ projects.  Pink flames!  I love it!  I think Naomi forced her friend to choose pink, while she herself selected the most authentic colour:  gold.  (the original calls for gold, but I was worried I wouldn’t have enough of it for all the kids)

The flames are sticky-back glitter foam (you use it to make glittery stickers, I guess) for the candles.  I got a whole bunch of sheets for maybe $5? 

Other than that, I’m actually pleased with the use of natural materials in this project.  I hate how all craft projects are made entirely of foam.  Don’t get me wrong; I love craft foam!  But cannot help thinking it’s wrong, somehow.  If I’d had enough lead time, I would have used wooden teardrop shapes painted with glittery colours.

Here’s Naomi Rivka’s menorah box close up.  She did such a good job on the lid.

 menorahs 018

I  used glitter paint instead of the solid-colour acrylic paint called for.  It would have been more opaque, and dry faster, but for a gathering of three girlies, I thought glitter was more appropriate. 

Anyway, these are all wood, except the paint.  So you can probably just take out the candles and toss them in a composter when you’re tired of them! (if you’re not the sentimental type, like me).

As a project, this is less creative than I like, and more parent-involvement than I usually plan for (the project calls for “grown-up” glue for the clothespins so they will stick quickly, which ultimately prevents kids’ frustration).  BUT I figured for “older” kids (3 and 4), they will come away with a nice looking project that they have had some degree of personal involvement with… so they can maybe feel a little proud of themselves.

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