Children’s Hanukkah Craft and Story Time

YS December 2014 130In my quest to support diversity at our branch, I did something we’ve never done before: a Hanukkah Craft and Story Time. After all, if we offer a Christmas Craft & Story Time, we should do one for Hanukkah too!


  • Popsicle sticks
  • Washable markers
  • Stickers
  • Adhesive jewels, stickers, etc.

I started off by asking the kids what they knew about Hanukkah (since we had some curious, non-Jewish kids in the group). This gave me a chance to gauge their understanding and introduce them to the basics (Menorahs, the Maccabees, Latkes, etc.) Then I let the kiddos choose which story they wanted to read. This year, they decided on Hoppy Hanukkah by Linda Glaser.

This image was borrowed from

This image was borrowed from

Afterwards, I turned the kids loose to make our craft: Star of David ornaments that they could hang around their homes or on their tree (for interfaith families).

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YS December 2014 115

Next year, I think I’d like to go even bigger: bring in some gelt, bake some latkes, etc. Otherwise, it was a successful program and everyone had a great time.

YS December 2014 128

Children’s Craft: Memorial Day Wind Streamer

Oh, Martha Stewart. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

This photo is accredited to

This photo is accredited to

Our May Memorial Day craft comes to you courtesy of Martha Stewart’s webpage, where detailed directions on how to make our lovely, patriotic wind streamer can be found.


– blue construction paper

– red and white ribbon

– white, cut-out stars

– glue sticks

– cardboard oatmeal containers

– a box cutter

You’ll need to make use of your Ellison Die machine for this one. I highly recommend pre-cutting both the stars and the ribbons to their appropriate lengths. It will also take a fair amount of time to cut the bottoms out of the oatmeal containers. Make sure you do so ahead of time to avoid pressure at the last minute.

This craft is a lot of fun and is pretty user-friendly. It also appeals to a wide age range; both our preschoolers and elementary-aged students enjoyed this one. 🙂



Children’s Craft: March Flower Pot

DSC01611Spring has sprung! Or, at least it will have by the end of the month. Which means it’s time for our annual spring-themed craft!


-terra cotta pots



-potting soil


We provided the kids with paint and brushes and let them decorate the pots however they wanted. Then we filled the pots with dirt and let the kids plant the flower or herb of their choice!

This was a very well attended craft. We had twenty kiddos show up! In the future, I think I’d like to incorporate a spring story time with this craft. Otherwise, it was a tremendous success. I’m looking forward to doing this one again. 🙂




Children’s Craft: February Friendship Bracelets

I love romance. I really do. But when February rolls around each year with its obligatory infusion of pink hearts, red roses, and candy, I tend to get a bit overwhelmed by all the Valentine’s Day commercialization. I get particularly distressed when little ones get caught up in this swirl of chocolates and paper hearts, largely because I think it’s sad to, in essence, tell children their lives are empty if they don’t have a “valentine.”

So as an alternative to doing a Valentine’s Day themed-craft, I decided to focus on friendship. After all, February is International Friendship Month – a fact that is often overlooked. So I decided to go old-school and teach my kiddos how to make friendship bracelets: the kind I learned how to make in summer camp back when I was their age.

Children's Programs February 222 Children's Programs February 223

You can find friendship bracelet making tips anywhere on the web. However, due to the hand-eye coordination required, I’d recommend this as a craft for 8-12 year olds.

To accommodate our preschoolers, we also set up a “Friendship Frootloop Bracelet” Station. That way, they could make bracelets too and not feel frustrated by the more difficult craft. 🙂

Children's Programs February 221

Finally, because kids do love sweets and associate them with Valentine’s Day, we let our kiddos decorate “friendship cookies” and subsequently gobble them up!

friendship bracelets 2

We had a tremendous amount of fun – even without the valentines. 🙂 I’m greatly looking forward to repeating and expanding this craft next year.

Children’s Craft: Chinese New Year Paper Dragons

Since the Chinese New Year typically occurs at the end of January, I thought having a similarly themed craft for the month would be a nice touch. The idea and directions for this craft can be found on Red Ted Art. There’s even a printable sheet with pre-drawn dragon heads and tails! How wonderfully easy is that? 🙂



– construction paper

– crayons

– popsicle sticks

– glue sticks

This craft is best geared towards preschoolers, though even our lower elementary kids had a great time making their dragons. 🙂 Little ones still developing their hand-eye skills may need help with gluing and cutting. In fact, if you’re going to have a large crowd of younger children, I’d recommend pre-cutting all the dragon heads and tails ahead of time.

All in all, our kiddos had a great time! Next year, we might expand this activity by including a Chinese New Year Story Time and a snack. If you’re looking for a fun a simple craft, I’d highly recommend this one.




Children’s Craft: Fall Door Decor

The first day of Fall is always in September, so what better way to ring in the new season then by having an autumn-themed craft? 🙂 I wanted to do something simple since we had a lot of preschool and young elementary students signed up for this event. The decorative door hanger seemed like the perfect solution.

This photo is accredited to All Kids Network

This photo is accredited to All Kids Network

The inspiration for this craft is courtesy of All Kids Network. The directions and steps can be found on their website. It’s relatively quick and easy to set up – especially if you have an Ellison Die Cut machine! This is also a great craft if you’re on a budget, since all of the supplies are inexpensive.

The best part: our little ones loved it and had a marvelous time!

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In total, we twenty kids attend our fall craft! Everyone had a lovely time and we’re looking forward to our next event.

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