Celebrate Hanukkah by creating a dazzling paper menorah using simple shapes! Shape recognition skills are a basic part of your young child’s budding math development. Try this collage activity that will encourage him to identify, create, and use geometric shapes such as rectangles, squares, and triangles.
The Hanukkah Menorah Shape Collage can also be used to introduce numbers and counting. Mark each of the eight nights by adding to this very special artwork. Extend the collage building over the course of the holiday, and remind your young artist to count the candles for each night as they are added.
What You Do:
- Help your child create shape templates that will correspond with the collage. You may want to choose triangles or squares to build the menorah, and rectangles for the candles.
- Ask your child to trace the shape templates with a crayon. Help him identify each shape by name as you go along.
- Help your child cut out the shapes.
- Have your child build a menorah on a separate piece of construction paper by arranging the shapes together like puzzle pieces.
- Gently lift up each shape, and have your child glue it to the paper.
- Add long, thin rectangles each night of Hanukkah for candles.
- Here's a safe way for your child to ‘light’ the Hanukkah candles: Have him cut pieces of yellow or gold construction paper (or metallic paper if you have it on hand), and then glue the paper flame to the top of the candle. An alternative way to create ‘lights’ is to use a small dab of yellow tempera paint.
Extend this activity over the course of the entire holiday. Discuss the significance of the menorah and Hanukkah candles with your child as he creates his own paper representation.
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.