Nine hexnuts glued inside an empty Altoids tin = Travel Menorah. Or, a Curiously Tiny Menorah. You can’t get much easier. Or smaller for that matter. Mine is the classic Altoids size, and it holds—just barely—a row of birthday candles with the Shammash nearby.
I might have to name this a Mint-orah, although my gag reflex is already on the alert. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve made a Menorah-saur Continue reading
An upcycled menorah for a dorm room, made of an old yardstick and plastic Easter eggs. My cost was zero, because I happened to have eggs left over from the seder plate lesson plan wherein I tried to convince 3rd graders that the brightly-colored, hinged and apparently hilarious objects were, in fact, “beitzim” and not Easter Eggs. The eggs ended up as projectiles, as talking eggs (what with the handy hinge) and as unintended take-home favors. Continue reading
PVC and pine Menorah
A “Man-orah.” 100% hardware, rough and ready. Instant. Cheap. Uncomplicated. Just hacksaw 18.5″ off the end of a pine 1×3, slap some glue on 9 PVC fittings and you’re done. No need to sand the splinters or remove the printed SKU# with acetone. That’s for sissies. LED tealights mean this bad boy is safe for the strictest dorm rooms (“no naked flames”), but Continue reading
The ol’ Pretzel Stick Menorah is a quick and easy activity for a class or party. It’s educational, it’s fun, and you can eat it.
Lighting the menorah in a window
I did this last year with K through 3rd grade, and everyone loved it, which is a boast I wish I could make about all my lesson plans. First, we turned off the lights and lit a real oil menorah, with blessings. This put everyone in a receptive mood and gave a heads-up that there are such things as menorah blessings. It also provided a real, working model of an object we were about to recreate with food, WHICH IS Continue reading
Swim Noodle Menorah
The Swim Noodle Menorah. Google all you want, but it won’t be there unless it’s here, because I’ve just invented it. I am ridiculously pleased. It signals my complete recovery from a summer illness that left no room for aggressively thematic, Jewy frivolity.
Foam flames in a foam candle in a foam candleholder
My goal was to make a practice menorah irresistible to young children. Everybody likes swim noodles, don’t they? Swim noodle candles are fun to hold, are big, lightweight, and easy to slide in and out of foam drink-holders. Foam-against-foam friction is far more satisfying than, say, foam against cardboard tubes or metal cans. The craft foam flames are easy for little hands to poke into Continue reading
PVC Menorah, ready to disassemble and reassemble
The finished PVC menorah worked beautifully at the Chanukah Carnival. The volunteer who staffed that station devised a great ploy to generate interest: he left it half-assembled and then asked kids if they would like to “help finish it.” They sure did. Boys and girls, I am pleased to report, in seemingly even numbers. Leaving it half-built was a wise move. This left just enough of the structure up to entice would-be builders, yet not enough to look finished (and therefore not as alluring). If he had disassembled the whole thing between turns, the kids would have seen nothing to draw them to the table.
Setup: I put everything on a huge baking tray on a card table. The tray was the working surface, and the raised sides (like a jellyroll pan) kept pieces from Continue reading
my DIY PVC menorah, so far
Addendum: Please see the finished version at PVC Menorah Kit for kids, revised.
For the synagogue’s Chanukah Carnival this year, I want to add a Build a Menorah station for kids. The goal: to assemble a menorah from bits of PVC pipe. They don’t get to keep the menorah and it won’t actually work (as in, it isn’t wired and it isn’t fire-safe for candles). No, the real goal is the process: for kids to figure out how all the pieces can fit together properly, and then to take them apart for the next person to try. They can choose to make a 7-branch Temple Menorah or a 9-branch Hanukkah Menorah (Hanukkiyah).
The new station should give the older kids something else fun to do while the little ones are busy with Dreidel Fishing and Squirt the Menorah and so forth. It will appeal to the types that love to build anything out of anything.
I bought the pipes, fittings and an awesome cutting tool that—Hallelujah—makes my hacksaw obsolete. The tool wasn’t my only surprise, as evidenced by my facebook status: Continue reading