Every Chanukah, I want my children and all my nieces and nephews to have the best time ever—and for the adults to feel like kids again too. Last year, I planned a day full of fun Chanukah activities, fun décor that can’t help but put everyone in a good mood, and a menu full of yummy dairy recipes.
Flowers die and toys—well, they I can’t say they last much longer. But they do make a cute centerpiece.
If your children are like mine, they hardly sit at a table and eat a bite before they run off and find something that’s more fun to do. But when there are crayons at their place setting, the fun is at the table. Little crayon cello bags double as napkin rings on this table. Use a paper tablecloth or cover the kids’ table at your party with oak tags so they can color while they eat—and give the adults a chance to sit and enjoy the meal too.
To create a fun surface, I lined up paper squares in different patterns. On the buffet and adult table, these paper squares served as the table runner.
If I were a kid, I would think it has to be more fun to get a little bag of jelly beans sealed with a cute sticker than to just grab some from a bowl. As a mommy, I’m thinking, maybe less will end up on the floor? And there won’t be any fights that one child got more candy than another? And maybe they’ll want to save their little bag of jelly beans for later and we won’t end up with super-hyper kids by the end of the day? I’m dreaming, right?
Want to know the secret to easy and delicious cake pops? To save the step of baking and crumbling a cake, I use a Babycakes cake pop maker. Cake balls bake in three minutes, and it’s a cinch to dip them in chocolate. Now for the delicious part. I don’t like colored baking bars don’t taste nearly much as real chocolate (can you even compare?)—skip the colors and just use the best quality bittersweet chocolate you can find. I only use Scharffen Berger. You can give them a punch of color using sprinkles. These shiny blue sprinkles are made by Wilton.
First—I love these huge latex balloons. They’re the giant 16-inch size—never mind the kids, they even get me excited. Every child loves balloons, and I thought it would be extra fun if each one got a balloon with a personalized bag attached (just keep extra balloons in the bedroom…avoid those tears when one pops or flies away). At my party, each child received a bag when they walked in to keep all the treats and prizes they collected throughout the day.
I pinned these mini donuts and cake pops onto a foam board. It’s another fun way to display the treats before they’re consumed.
All day, the kids were busy at my “driedel factory.” Jewishcrafts.com has projects ready-to-go at low prices (I ordered from there), or you can purchase your own wooden pieces. Amazingly, the standard wooden parts available at craft stores make great dreidels. Cubes work as the body of the dreidel, doll heads for the bottom, and pegs for the top. Wheels (shown on the right) make a great dreidel stand. Markers and glitter pens (washable only!), mosaic tiles, sequins, rhinestones, foam pieces, and pom poms are only some of the ways to decorate. If you can’t find foam Hebrew letters, print out nuns, gimmels, heys, and shins from the computer or let the kids just draw their own.