Jewish Holidays in a Box is a nifty concept: one kit per holiday with how-tos, whys and whats tucked neatly inside.
This post is a review of the newly-released Hanukkah Kit, which is the first in a series of kits from Jewish Holidays in a Box. The kit is aimed at children ages 4-10, but via the grownups in the house. By this I mean there is no picture book or easy-reader version of the info offered. Adults can sift through the materials and decide what to present to the kids. Thus, the kit is customizable: families of any background or level of experience can find a comfortable starting point. The goal: to inform and enrich family fun. The whole thing feels welcoming, friendly and relaxed.
Here are some highlights:
•Instant Quick Reference Cards are big, slick and sturdy and give at-a-glance info on Hanukkah Candle-Lighting Tips, Hanukkah Blessings, and several traditional Hanukkah Songs. The How to Play Dreidel card shows the shape, name and meaning of the letters, the translation, transliteration and a basic version of the game. These make great ready-reference materials to have on hand.
•A booklet details Hanukkah in an accessible, organized way. It captures the big ideas as Three Core Concepts: light, miracle and oil, and gives examples of fun ways to bring the concepts home. It includes the story of Hanukkah, customs, vocabulary, a Q and A section, tips on decorating and food, and a recipe for latkes.
•The kit also includes four plastic dreidels, a Hanukkah Bingo set (with a key and explanation of all images on the reverse), coloring pages, a paper menorah activity and decorative paper goods and ribbons. It also provides a stack of instant Thank You cards. The checklist inside each card is a subtle reminder of what kids can do on Hanukkah, even though it is presented as a way to summarize what kids did do. But the main thing is that they make it easy to send a thank you note to Bubbe, asap.
•The audio cd takes listeners through every word of the blessings: vocabulary, pronunciation and meaning; and the speaker’s voice is ideal in tone, timbre, accent, and pacing. Again, the word welcoming comes to mind.
Note that the kit does not include a hanukkah menorah or candles.
Anyone can subscribe to the company’s e-newsletter: Simply Celebrating. Judging by the facebook feed, these are some friendly, generous folks.
Jewish Holidays in a Box website, here.
Jewish Holidays in a Box facebook page, here.