Whether you already observe Hanukkah or are looking to teach your younger child about it, this Hanukkah Bear Unit Study is a great introduction. Find more unit study ideas.
You can pick up Hannukkah Bear by Eric Kimmel or you can watch the video I have at the end of this post.
It is a silly fun story with some simple facts about the Hanukkah tradition of Latkes woven in. A very old woman confuses a very hungry bear with the Rabbi she was expecting instead and quite a bit of hilarious situations occur throughout the Hanukkah celebration.
Hanukkah Bear Unit Study
Hanukkah Bear is welcomed into Bubba Brayna’s house where she generously plies him with latkes, lights the menorah with him, plays dreidel, and finally gifts him with a red scarf as a Hanukkah gift. Let’s make this story even more fun by making some of the items told about in the story!
No-Sew Hanukkah Bear
This cute no-sew Hanukkah Bear is a great reminder of the story and can be used for dramatic play as you read the story.
How to make a no sew Hanukkah Bear
- Brown craft felt
- Cream craft felt
- Cotton stuffing
- Red adhesive craft foam
- Fabric glue or hot glue
- Black fabric paint pen
- Fold a square of brown felt in half and rough draw a potato shape with arms and ears, practice on paper first until you feel comfortable.
- With the felt still folded over cut out both sides of the bear at the same time, flip the side with the marker drawing inward so you don’t see it.
- If you are going to let your child help glue it down use tacky fabric glue and run a generous bead of it a little at a time just inside the “seam” area, I recommend you use hot glue instead personally as it just holds better and dries quicker. Glue all the way around except for about 3”. Let the glue dry completely.
- Fill lightly with cotton stuffing, use a craft stick to push it into the arms and ears and to the bottom.
- Glue the remaining section closed, allow to dry.
- Cut a 1 ½” strip from adhesive craft foam or felt, snip fringe on each end and use a marker or paint pen to add some stripes,
- Peel off adhesive and wrap around his neck.
- To make some latkes for him to hold cut a couple of small irregular circles from cream felt and add a little detail with a brown marker, glue to the bear’s hand.
- Finally use your paint pen to add some simple eyes and a potato-shaped nose, allow paint to dry and your sweet bear is ready to celebrate Hanukkah with you!
Popsicle Stick Hanukkah Menorah Craft
How to make a popsicle stick Hanukkah menorah
- 9 small craft sticks
- 3 large craft sticks
- Orange adhesive craft foam
- Paint (Kwik Stix)
- Hot glue gun/sticks
- Start by painting the two large craft sticks for the base the same color, set aside to dry. We used Kwik Stix for painting because it is easy, less mess, easy to clean, and dries really fast!
- Now give each of your small sticks a pretty festive coat of various colors, dry completely. Flip over your craft foam and draw 9 little flames on the white paper then cut them out.
- Lay down one of your large craft sticks and glue your candles across it, placing the center one a little higher than the others. Apply more glue and lay another large popsicle stick over the “Candles” be sure the candles do not come lower than the base.
- Run a thick bead of hot glue across the bottom and press the candles into the third wide popsicle stick, hold in place until hardened.
- Peel the white backing off and apply a flame to each candle as you tell the story of Hanukkah.
If you have extra popsicle sticks and a dollhouse, you may want to check out this Popsicle Stick DollHouse floor DIY.