Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Activities, Lessons, and Crafts

Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Preschool and Kindergarten Hanukkah and Kwanzaa Crafts, Activities, Lessons, Games, and Printables. Around the world, people from different countries and different families celebrate the winter holiday season in different ways. Some with twinkling lights illuminating trees and houses, some with jolly old Saint Nicholas, hanging stockings from fireplace mantles, lighting candles, and giving presents. Whether you celebrate ChristmasHanukkah, and/or Kwanzaa, it's a time of gift giving, reflection, and to be with family and friends. Introduce your children to Hanukkah the Celebration of Lights and Kwanzaa with our crafts, activities, games, and resources to help your children get familiar with these celebrations.

Samples of our Hanukkah and Kwanzaa preschool and kindergarten activities, crafts, games, and printables available in our KidsSoup Resource Library:


Preschool Hanukkah activities, lessons, games, and crafts
Preschool Activities: 
Menorah and Hanukkah felt activities
Preschool Activities: 
Preschool and kindergarten dreidel craft, rhyme, and game
Preschool Activities: 
Menorah and Candles Preschool Numbers Activities
Preschool Activities: 
Hanukkah Activities and Lesson Menorah and Hanukkah Rhyme
and Activities
Dreidel Craft, Rhyme, and Gme Menorah and Candles
Numbers Activities
Kwanzaa activities, lesson, games, and crafts for preschool and kindergarten
Preschool Activities: 
Preschool and Kindergarten Kwanzaa Craft
Preschool Activities: 
K for Kwanzaa and Kinara Beginning Sound Game
Preschool Activities: 
Light the Candles Rhyming Game
Preschool Activities: 
Kwanzaa Activities, Lesson, Games,
and Crafts
Kwanzaa Kinara Craft  K for Kwanzaa and Kinara
Beginning Sound Game
Light the Candles for Kwanzaa
Rhyming Game


Hanukkah The Jewish Festival of Lights

To introduce children to the meaning of Hanukkah, read the book The Festival of Lights: The Story of Hanukkah by Maida Silverman and Carolyn Ewing or another book about Hanukkah.

Tell children the story about Hanukkah (also known as Chanukah), the Jewish Festival of Lights.

Symbols of Hanukkah

The Menorah is a nine-branched candelabrum. The ninth branch is for a so-called "helper" candle, called the Shamash. Each of the eight candles represent one of the eight nights of Chanukah, which in turn represent the miracle of Chanukah. Each night one candle is lit, until on the eighth night of Hanukkah all eight candles, plus the shamash, are lit.

Hanukkah Menorah candle activity
Preschool Activities: 

Menorah Candle Activitiy available inside our KidsSoup Resource Libary.

Here’s a Little Candle
(Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)

Here’s a little candle dressed in white,
Wearing a hat of yellow light.
When the night is dark, then you will see
Just how bright this light can be.
Here’s a little candle straight and tall,
Shining its light upon us all.
When the night is dark, then you will see
Just how bright this light can be.
Here’s a little candle burning bright.
Keeping us safe all through the night.
When the night is dark, then you will see
Just how bright this light can be!

Lighting the Chanukah Menorah

The Dreidel
Another Hanukkah custom is playing with dreidels. A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters on the dreidel, Nun, Gimmel, Hey and Shin, stand for the Nes Gadol Haya Sham, which means "A Great Miracle Happened There."

Hanukkah Dreidel craft for preschool and kindergarten
Preschool Activities: 

Dreidel Craft (Craft desciption available inside our KidsSoup Resource Libary)

Latkes (potato pancakes) are a traditional Hanukkah food which is fried in oil. 

Five Latkes Felt Story and Activity (Printables and lesson available inside our KidsSoup Resource Libary)

Hanukkah Five Latkes Felt Story and Activity
Preschool Activities: 


Kwanzaa Celebration

Introduce children to the Kwanzaa holiday and celebration. Great books to use for preschool and kindergarten are Seven Days of Kwanzaa by Angela Shelf Medearis or My First Kwanzaa (My First Holiday).

Kwanzaa Celebration in the Classroom Activities

Explain to children that Dr. Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa in 1966 because he wanted African-Americans to have a special time in which they could celebrate their heritage, or past. The word “kwanzaa” means “first” and symbolizes the first fruits of the harvest. The Kwanzaa celebration lasts seven days, from December 26 to January 1. Each of the seven days of the celebration is dedicated to one of the seven principles. A candle is lit each day on a special candlestick called the “kinara” to represent these principles. People celebrate through singing, speaking, and dancing. 

Kwanzaa Symbols:

The Kinara
The kinara is the candle holder used in Kwanzaa celebrations in the United States. The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. On the kinara is one black candle, three red, and three green candles. 

Kwanzaa and Kinara Craft and Activities
Preschool Activities: 

Kwanzaa and Kinara Craft and Activities (available inside our KidsSoup Resource Libary)

The Seven Symbols of Kwanzaa

1. mkeka
Meaning: mat
Symbol tradition and history

2. kikombe cha umoja
Meaning: the unity cup

Symbol of unity. Before drinking out of the cup, each person says "harambee," or "let's pull together."

3. kinara
Meaning: the candleholder, which holds seven candles
Symbolize stalks of corn of the roots of the African people. 

4. mazao 
Meaning: fruits, nuts, and vegetables
Symbol of the African harvest celebrations

5. mishumaa saba
Meaning: the seven candles that represent the seven principles
A different candle is lit each day one for each principle. 

6. muhindi 
Meaning: ear of corn
Symbol of our children and our future.

7. zawadi
Meaning: gifts
Traditionally gifts are given to children on January 1, the last day of Kwanza



Other related KidsSoup preschool and kindergarten activities and themes:

Christmas Around the World Activities Christmas Activities and Crafts    


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