3 Easy, Cute, and Kid-Friendly Decorating Ideas for Hanukkah Since It’s Right Around the Corner

published Nov 19, 2021
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Ariel Scheer Stein and her daughters
Credit: Courtesy of Ariel Scheer Stein

Growing up, finding Hanukkah decorations was a challenge. While my Christian friends had
trees, garlands, and tiny villages, I looked forward to seeing our dreidel-shaped lights on the
banister and the menorah on the table (not much… but it was something!). Hanukkah
decorations have definitely come a long way in the last 20 years, but some people have always had a knack for celebrating Hanukkah and making all of the Jewish holidays feel festive and fun. Ariel Scheer Stein, blogger at Ariel Loves, founder of Jewish Family Magic, and mom of two cute little girls, is one of those people.

When you scroll through Stein’s Instagram feed, you’ll find a treasure trove of holiday decorating ideas and activities, most of which involve her kids. Getting little ones involved from the start of the season is part of what makes the home feel so special this time of year. I asked Stein for her ideas on how to have a whole latke fun decorating with kids for Hanukkah, and these are her top three tips.

Credit: Courtesy of Ariel Sheer Stein

Get kids crafting

Stein’s girls get into the spirit by creating some of their own Hanukkah decorations. One favorite is a handprint menorah. This craft’s a close cousin of the handprint turkey you might have made back in elementary school for Thanksgiving. To do this, dip your child’s hands in craft paint and press onto a piece of paper with their thumbs overlapping. They then can create “candles” on top of their fingerprints. Each year, she and the girls also make Play-Doh “cookies” in various shades of blue dough using menorah and star of David cookie cutters.

Credit: Courtesy of Ariel Scheer Stein

Let littles decorate their own spaces

Stein lets her daughters Hanukkah-up their bedrooms by adding festive books to their shelves, hanging cute garlands around display areas, and bringing faux latkes into their play kitchen. “I think decorating can also create fun teachable moments,” she says. “When the kids helped me attach dreidel and menorah decals to our mirror and windows last year, we talked about what the Hebrew letters on the dreidel stand for.” The more you can work festive touches that tie back to customs into your everyday spaces, the better!

Credit: Courtesy of Ariel Scheer Stein

Create traditions

Stein adds new decorations to her collection each year, but some things always remain the same, such as the Hanukkah banner on their mantel. Each member of the family also always has their own Hanukkah menorah to light. “Every one of them has a special memory attached to it — like the Hanukkah menorah we got as a wedding gift, the ones my daughters made in preschool, and even one I have from my childhood,” Stein says.