Hanukkah: A Festival of Fort Ideas for Kids
Posted December 16, 2016 by Fort Magic
During this faithful holiday season, Fort Magic offers you Hanukkah ideas to delight young and old. Given the long history and value of Hanukkah, take time with your kids to find reputable resources on the web or at the library to read about this celebration and its true meaning. You might consider going to your nearest synagogue to talk to a rabbi. Add fun to this journey of faith and discovery with a festival of fort ideas for kids!
The passion and care with which the holiday is celebrated are sure to inspire you. You may discover a wide range of celebratory styles from devout to lighthearted. Talk with your kids about variations and similarities among Hanukkah celebrations. Discuss how these festivities diverge and converge with those in your home at this time of year. Highlight what can be gleaned from Hanukkah and its storytellers. As you learn, spread out the Fort Magic kit and plan activities, fort designs and celebrations which bring the holiday to life in the minds of your children. After all, physical interaction provides a foundation for memory.
Eight Days of Hanukkah
Hanukkah stretches over eight days and encompasses a rich history and deep meaning to those who celebrate it. Use storybooks and the web to find ideas on building a temple fort. The intricacies of the construction of the sacred building encourage fort builders to include lots of details. Coverings, curtains, altars and rooms make for fascinating discovery and construction creativity.Once the temple is built, use a homemade or purchased menorah with battery-powered lights to celebrate. Real candles are too much of a fire hazard in an enclosed fort. At the close of each day, “light” another candle on the candelabra. Read the blessings associated with each lighting. For authenticity, try reciting the Hebrew versions of these readings or listen to them together on an app. Another tradition of Hanukkah includes giving small gifts on each of the eight days. Traditionally, people give chocolate coins, small amounts of money or $5 blank checks intended for charitable uses to one another during this festive time of year. Exchanging gifts by both children and adults makes for a special memory inside a blue, white and silver Hanukkah fort.
Festival of Lights
Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah inspires children to create magical forts with lights. Use twinkling holiday lights or craft starry night LED strings with egg cartons to illuminate a fort of any design. Turning the room lights down and the fort lights up creates an enchanted area to read the tales of historical adventures. Spend time singing Hanukkah songs or listening to recordings together. Even the Hebrew versions may prove catchy when you put them to a tune. If harmonizing is not your thing, share a traditional Hanukkah meal under the stars. Latkes (potato pancakes) and applesauce make for a delicious dinner. Make sure to include sufganiyot (small powdered sugar donuts) for dessert.
The four-sided toy that functions like a top bears the name dreidel, a word that means “to turn around.” The Hebrew letters on each side represent the phrase, “A great miracle occurred here.” This game has accompanied Hanukkah celebrations for centuries, and it symbolizes a fun way to recognize the holiday.Typically, this toy keeps children occupied with enjoyable games using candies or nuts. Pennies, chocolate chips, raisins or Cheerios also work as substitutes. The letters correlate to actions taken during the game. Variations of this dreidel fun offer endless game opportunities inside fort walls.
— Each spin reveals a kind action to be undertaken.
— Using actual coins with winnings donated to charity.
— At a holiday party, parents match winning contributions to increase the donation.
Faith vs. Might
Hanukkah stories offer powerful examples of faith triumphing over might. Plus, plenty of action holds the interest of the wiggliest of children. Read the adventures as a family. Then, let the inspiration unfold though fort design and play. Children assume various historical roles with the fort as their tent or base. Then, there is the awe of rebuilding the temple begins anew with all of the STEM skills necessary to finish the creation.
Stick and Arc Menorah
Fort Magic kits hold the sticks and arcs needed to create a larger-than-life menorah. Battery-powered tealights or candlesticks top each branch of the well-known symbol. The nightly lighting ceremony takes on new proportions when you have a huge menorah.This creation becomes a side of a fort design for the creative. And, a dreidel wall hanging crafted from old sheets dons the other side of the construction. Pockets offer the perfect spot for the small gifts to arrive over the next eight days.
No matter how you choose to celebrate, we bid you, “Chag Urim Sameach!” What are your special Hanukkah traditions and how can you add fort building into them? Share your ideas below!
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