Critical to the success of any party is keeping the little ones busy so they don’t start up with negative behavior or begin annoying their parents when the folks are trying to have a good time. Among my Top 10 Hanukkah Activities for Kids Until it is Time to Play Dreidel, is coloring. Hanukkah coloring is low cost and it can involve a wide range of ages, from just holding a marker to teenagers (and even adults!) Here are my top tips for hosting a stimulating and successful Hanukkah coloring activity.
Location is Everything
Have a dedicated area for the coloring activity that isn’t too far away from the parents…but isn’t too close either. I clear out my office, which isn’t far from the living room, and use my worktable for the setup. It is ideal if you don’t have to clear off the table to eat, but if it is doubling as the “kids table” then be sure to let the kids know that well in advance by providing a countdown before transitioning the activity from coloring to eating.
Curate the Table
Display the craft supplies attractively to entice the kids. When the table looks great, most kids don’t need an invitation to get started. Have the coloring sheets spread all over the table and cut up a few to show the kids they aren’t boxed in by the presented picture. Have scissors and glue available to encourage deconstruction. Here, I’ve cut up portions of these Hanukkah coloring placemats and provided plain bags for kids to make their own gelt bags as well as the whole placemats. Kids love creating things that are practical and useful. Crafting placemats and gelt bags allow them to take pride in their creations by having them usefully employed.
Make Your Mark
Make an effort to bring out a wide variety of coloring implements – crayons, pens, glitter glue stick, the whole shebang. This is a good excuse to stock up and if you have kids yourself, you’ll never be for want when school projects come up. “Art supplies are a waste of money,” said no one ever with kids. Here, I have a variety of pens and my new favorite item, Kwik Stix. I am insane over these. If you haven’t heard of them, they are solid tempera paint, so it is like paint in a stick form. They glide beautifully, like tempera paint, so they are wonderful for covering large areas, which are such a challenge for kids. My son and I can’t get our hands off them. They come in thick (shown below) and thin (Bubbe wants you to know the thin ones are on sale now at BJ’s Wholesale).
If you are worried about children messing up their clothes, provide washable markers like these Magic Stix. You can also provide aprons, which parents will definitely appreciate anyway. My son loves Magic Stix because you can leave the cap off for 7 days!! They come in a 12 pack and a 24 pack.
Check on the kids once and a while to provide beverage, snacks, and to heap (specific and evidenced based!) praise on their work. By the time everyone is ready to play dreidel, the craft table is usually a beautiful mess.
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