It can be hard to find good preschool activities for Hanukkah, and especially to come up with good ideas for toddlers! Sensory bins are a great idea – kids of various age groups love them – so I hope you can enjoy this Chanukah sensory bin activity! If you haven’t yet, make sure to grab my Chanukah puppets – another great activity for all ages! This post contains affiliate links.
Between Chanukah vacation, and evenings, I’m always looking for fun activities to do with the kids. Both my boys have always loved sensory bins, so when I saw the new Pluffle by Playfoam at a recent event I attended, I knew I had to make a Chanukah sensory bin with it.
So far Y, age 3, has been mushing it around with the candles, twisting the dreidels inside, “cutting” shapes and watching the Pluffle fall… And it’s been opening up discussions about Chanukah.
Since we have family in Israel, we have a mix of dreidels in our house – the ones that have the letter “Shin” for Sham – “A great miracle happened there” and the ones with “Pey” for Poh – “A great miracle happened here.”
Children love sensory bins, because there are no rules. This is one of my favorite preschool activities for Chanukah because you can be creative, put what you want and encourage learning. Y named the colors of the candles as he pulled them out. He counted the coins (or at least the first few) and learned to identify the letters on the dreidel.
And of course, preschoolers enjoy the sensory input too! And they also love watching the Pluffle slowly fall.
What’s inside our Chanukah Sensory bin preschool activity for Hanukkah:
1. I started with a shoebox size container. If you have more than one kid participating, you may want to go for more of an under bed box size. Keep in mind that you can reuse these afterward for storage or for other sensory bins!
2. For this bin, I used one tube of blue Pluffle. This covered about an inch on the bottom. If you like fuller bins, use two. If you’re going for a group sensory bin and filling a larger container, you’ll probably need more.
3. I tossed in some Chanukah themed cookie cutters.
4. And then added in a handful of dreidels from our way-too-big stash.
5. Some inexpensive Chanukah candles make preschoolers feel real big (I actually have my kids light with these kid-safe Chanukah candles so they felt REALLY big playing with these!)
6. I tossed in some cheap plastic “Chanukah gelt” AKA treasure chest coins. You can put in chocolate coins if you want and let kids find them to eat if you want to add a snacky twist to your bin. Paskesz makes nut free Kosher coins.
And now allow your child to play – no rules, other than no making a balagan (mess)!
Or at least, they know that rule but don’t necessarily know how to rein it in. But it’s nothing that a vacuum cleaner won’t fix!
Mix it up, pull out the cookie cutters and use them as tools to play with the Pluffle. Let your child think of other Chanukah items that can be added.
Try putting in actual Gelt (coins) and allow your child to keep it as a gift – this is a great way to make it more exciting for slightly older kids!
What are your favorite preschool activities for Hanukkah? Did you add anything to this Chanukah sensory bin activity? Comment below!