5 Fun Hanukkah Traditions You Can Enjoy with Your Family

There are many fun Hanukkah traditions you can enjoy with your family. Kids love to create, and the fun activities mentioned here are an excellent way for them to learn about their spiritual heritage and the heroic story of the Maccabees.

Here are 5 ways to incorporate fun Hanukkah traditions into this season of Light, leaving a legacy to your children…

5 Fun Hanukkah Traditions

1) Play the Dreidel Game

The dreidel game is a fun Hanukkah tradition played during the Festival of Lights by young and old alike.  Dreidel, which means “to turn around” in Hebrew, is a top with four sides.

Each side contains one of the following letters from the Hebrew alphabet: Nun, Shin, Hey, or Gimel.

The dreidel game is a fun Hanukkah tradition the entire family can get involved in.

Here’s What You Need

  • 2 or more players
  • The dreidel
  • Tokens for ante (traditionally, chocolate-covered coins called gelt are used, but you can really use anything)
  • Hard surface area to play the game and spin the dreidel

How to Play the Dreidel Game

Have the players sit in a circle around the table or hard surface.  

Give each player 10 to 15 tokens or small objects such as chocolate gelt (see recipe below) to put in the center “pot.”

Have each player put one token into the center pot to start.

Have the players take turns spinning the dreidel once during their turn. When the dreidel stops spinning, the side facing up instructs the player on what they are to do. Click here to get a set of 4 dreidel pieces that include the instructions written on each side. 

Icon showing the four different sides of a Dreidel.

If the dreidel lands on…


  • The player does nothing. The player to the left spins.


  • The player takes the whole pot. Then each player, including the one who landed on gimel, puts another token in the pot. The player to the left spins.


  • The player gets half of the tokens in the pot. If there is an odd number, the player takes one additional token. The player to the left spins.


  • The player puts another token in the pot. The player to the left spins.

Keep playing for as long as you like!

2) Make Gelt

Who doesn’t like chocolate? Making gelt is a fun Hanukkah tradition and you can also use it when playing the dreidel game. 

Here’s What You Will Need

  • Chocolate candy melts (you can find these in the baking aisle of your local grocer)
  • Microwave safe dish
  • Spatula
  • Candy wrappers
  • Gelt molds (these can be purchased online)

How to Make Homemade Gelt 

Most candy melts have instructions on the back of the package. You can follow those, which are similar to the instructions below… 

  • Remove candy belts from the package and place them in a bowl.
  • Microwave the bowl of candy melts at 50% power for 1 minute.
  • Remove from microwave and stir thoroughly with a spatula.
  • Return to microwave and heat for 20 to 30 seconds intervals, removing and stirring between the intervals until smooth and completely melted. 
  • Pour melted chocolate into gelt molds.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
  • Remove and wrap melts in candy wrappers. 

Enjoy! These are simple enough to make, and the kids can take the lead role in this fun Hanukkah tradition. 

3) Make Small Crafts with Your Kids

Give your kids the freedom to use their creativity. Collect any or all of the following…

  • Toilet paper or paper towel rolls
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Construction paper
  • Tape or glue
  • Markers or crayons 
  • Glitter
  • Paper plates
  • String or small rope for hanging up the craft
  • Or any other craft materials your children might enjoy

Help them create anything from the Star of David out of popsicle sticks, glued to a paper plate and decorated, to a paper Hanukkiah, candles, and small flames cut out of construction paper, glued together and fixed on cardboard. 

You can get a children’s book or find images online for kids to look at to inspire their imaginations to create! Decorate your home or give the crafts to family or friends. 

Child lighting Hanukkiah candles with a match and her mother's supervision.

4) Light the Hanukkiah

Lighting the Hanukkiah each night of the Festival of Lights is a beautiful and fun Hanukkah tradition that opens doors of conversation and legacy. After lighting the Hanukkiah as a family, you can read Scripture, play a game, eat a meal, or sing and worship. 

Lighting the Hanukkiah as a family is an ideal time to pause and reflect on the Light of Yeshua, remember the God of miracles, and slow down for a few moments out of the day. With so much busyness during this season, it’s easy to skip over the importance of being together as a family, teaching your children and grandchildren the benefits and blessings of rest, and dedicating time to God and each other.  

The enemy will use a number of things to pull your attention away from the Lord and forget what He has done. Starting a fun Hanukkah tradition such as lighting the Hanukkiah can refocus your eyes and mind on the Light. 

Infographic explaining the meaning of each candle in a Hanukkiah.
Download Infographic

5) Read the Hanukkah Story

The Hanukkah story can be a challenge to tell younger children. But there are great lessons and biblical truths within the story of Hanukkah that can encourage the younger generation to stand firm in their faith, even when the culture against them seems to be winning the battle. 

By using the story of Hanukkah written for children, you can help the next generation discover strength, might, and God’s miracle-working power. In today’s world, it is critical for the older generation to sow seeds and leave a legacy for the next generation, and this is what the Hanukkah story is all about. 

Get a children’s Hanukkah book that will explain the historical and spiritual events of the Maccabean war at a level any age can understand. 

Click here to buy our Hanukkah children's book!

Fun Hanukkah Traditions | The Benefits for Believers and Their Families

As more Believers come to understand the times in which we live, much like sons of Issachar, the Lord is revealing more about their spiritual heritage, connecting them to the roots of their faith, and showing them what they “ought to do” (see 1 Chronicles 12:32).

Nations are stepping away from biblical principles and godly instruction. However, hope and restoration are being released into the family structure. God is restoring families. The nations will arise because the families within those nations are returning to the Lord and teaching their children the ways of God. 

Let us embrace this move of God and pour it into the next generation!

Remember You Are Part of His Family

There are a number of fun Hanukkah traditions, but the entire point of any feast or festival is to remember what the Lord has done, remember who He is, and remember you are a part of His family. When we teach this “returning” to the Lord to the next generation, they will know who to go to in their time of need, who to glorify and how to live honorably as they grow and mature. 

Each fun Hanukkah tradition you do with your kids, grandkids, and family is an opportunity to leave a legacy of truth. These are spiritual seeds that will reap a harvest, bearing good fruit in due season. 

“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

—Galatians 6:8-10

Looking for more ways to celebrate and create fun Hanukkah traditions for your family? Click HERE to find out how you can join us online for a Hanukkah celebration.