It's common for parents to tell us that their child is so consumed by their new ability to walk -- or to walk while pushing a heavy item around the house -- that they don't want to work on fine motor skill activities. One way to renew interest in shelf-work is to rotate the items on the shelf. Here are some Hanukkah activities that we have created ourselves or learned about from other Monti Kids families.
Hanukkah Activities for Toddlers
I created this activity to introduce candles, one of the primary symbols of Hanukkah. Fitting slim candles into a menorah is one of the more frustrating tasks of Hanukkah -- even for adults! -- so I decorated a piece of felt with strips of decorative tape to show where to place the candles. For a toddler, placing the candles on the mat in the correct spot, challenges their fine motor skills.
We love a project like this, which encourages observation and teaches little ones how things grow. Paperwhite Narcissus flowers sprout so quickly you can see the difference in height day after day. Place several in a shallow bowl and add a little bit of water. They grow to be about a foot tall and then bloom sweet white flowers. Your child will learn about bulbs, roots, stems, and after about 30 days -- petals!
Sorting Set, Repurposed
The sorting tray from Monti Kids Level 6, for 18-22 month-olds, can be refreshed with different items for the season. Here, we introduced 3-year old Asa to the original materials that come with the tray, different textures and shapes. Once he understood the sorting activity, we offered him a bag that included driedls, pom poms, and Hanukkah gelt and he sorted those.
Sensory Bin for Hanukkah
Combining dyed rice with cookie cutters and some blue gems from the dollar store, the mom at @withlovefromima created a sensory bin with a Hanukkah theme for her toddler.
Related: Sensory Bin Materials for Independent Play
Collecting all the books from a specific theme and displaying them with the covers facing out is a wonderful invitation for children to select them off the shelf independently. And, the rotation practice keeps things fresh! When Hanukkah is over, select another theme such as Family or Animals to tie your books together. We love this book display for Hanukkah from YouTuber @MyJewishMommyLife
- To see another take on a seasonal toy rotation, read Fall Rotations: Activities for Toddlers
- Learn more about toy rotation and keeping toy areas free of clutter
- See the best Montessori toys for toddlers, 14-17 months old