Many Hanukkah traditions help to inspire the true meaning of the holiday in children. Lighting the menorah and helping prepare the traditional meal are all ways that the little ones can get involved. However, parents can also help instillin their children during the festival of lights. Here are some ways to transform Hanukkah crafts and goodies into ones that are good for the earth.
Children love to participate in lighting the menorah so let them create a menorah of their own. Start by collecting eight clear glass jars that are all the same height and size. Then, locate another glass jar that is slightly taller than the others. Jars that contained baby food, condiments or juice are the perfect size for this project. Paint the outside of the jars with non-toxic paint made from clay, earth, vegetable or mineral extracts. Opt for a light color so that the inner light will still be visible once lit. You can also glue tissue paper to the outside of the jars with a thin layer of non-toxic, biodegradable glue. Let the jars dry and line them up in a straight line with the tallest one in the center. Insert all-natural beeswax or vegetable oil candles inside each jar, which don’t contain harmful chemicals like other candles. For a safer option, opt for. More importantly, turn off all other lights while the menorah is burning to save on electricity.
Sending Hanukkah cards is a great way to teach children the importance of staying in touch with loved ones. Teach them to love the planet too by making cards out of items you already have. Start by saving empty cereal boxes or other packaged food boxes. Carefully cut open the flaps of the boxes so that the cardboard lays flat, then cut them into a rectangle to form a card. Cut a piece of aluminum foil, single-color wrapping paper or other craft paper that you already have into the shape of the card and glue to it to the side of that has the product labeling on it. Then, write a Hanukkah message right on the foil or paper. Let kids decorate the other plain side of the card using markers to draw, menorahs or a Star of David. They can add glitter or cut out leftover wrapping paper or tissue paper to make them more festive.
Baking Hanukkah cookies is another way to get children into the holiday spirit. However, most commercial cookie dough is laden with unpronounceable ingredients with questionable health effects. Instead, take the time to make your own cookie dough using only all-natural ingredients. Look for gluten-free flour or flour that is. Opt for honey, molasses or stevia sweeteners instead of using refined white sugar. Roll out the dough and cut out the cookies using festive Hanukkah cookie cutters in the shape of dreidels or the Star of David. Brush the tops of each cookie with organic egg whites and sprinkle them with all natural colored sugar. This sugar gets it’s coloring from fruits and vegetables and can be found in health food stores.