Make this beautiful Hanukkah craft for kids as a keepsake, or just for fun. This clay fingerprint menorah is fun for all ages, with results varying with age group.
I wanted to make something really special and fun with M for Hanukkah. I fell behind on the blog, and therefore ended up working for a lot of the time that I should have been spending with him. Now that I’m caught up (phew!) we sat down and crafted…
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We have been trying to cope with his potty training delays, sensory struggles, and all the mayhem of emotions that comes with the threes… So I thought that a sensory Hanukkah craft for kids, that we can create alongside each other, would be perfect. We still have our kid-friendly menorah from last year for him to light, so I figured something purely decorative will do this year.
I had seen lots of keepsake ornaments and (while Chanukah is in no way the Jewish Christmas) I thought it would be nice to make a pretty keepsake decoration to hang in the window near where we light our menorah.
So, we pulled out the air dry clay (I don’t have time for salt dough…), the Hanukkah cookie cutters, and got moldin’!
The thing with air dry clay is that it breaks easily if it’s not thick enough. M broke his within minutes (we glued it back together), while mine lasted, because his was too thin. Make sure to make your menorah keepsake at least 1/4 inch think – I’d recommend half an inch.
I use a cookie cutter that I had handy, but you can just create the Menorah shape on your own. The top of the menorah wasn’t big enough to fit nine fingerprints, so I widened it with my hands, and just used the cookie cutter as a basic guide. M’s came out looking like a three year old made it (and rightfully so) but he is so proud! Mine is more representative of what a 6-10 year old might make, depending on skill level.
What you need to make a fingerprint keepsake Hanukkah craft for kids:
- Air-dry clay
- A menorah cookie cutter (or you can just wing it…)
- Excited little fingers
- Paint and paintbrushes. Since M is only 3, I used kid-friendly paints. If you’re doing it with slightly bigger kids, you can use more opaque acrylics.
- Glossy Decoupage and foam brush
- String or ribbon to hang it
- A few beads
How to make a fingerprint keepsake Hanukkah craft for kids:
1. Flatten out your air-dry clay. Use the menorah cookie cutter to make your shape.
2. Make sure it’s the right size by widening, adding clay as needed. Make fingerprints: one higher/larger one in the middle, and then four on each side. Aim to keep it about half an inch thick (unlike the photo shows) so it shouldn’t break.
3. If you’ll want to hang it later, make a small hole with a toothpick toward the top of the center fingerprint. Let it dry completely – about two days – depending on how thick you make it.
4. Start by filling in the fingerprints using orange, yellow, or red paint (or a mixture of the three). Note: M is a bit behind in these areas. A typical 3-4 year old should be able to follow these instructions to some extent. If they don’t, it’s okay! the point is to have a great creative and sensory experience, and that they are proud of their creations!
If you are using kids’ washable paints, you might want to do another layer of paint (you can do this at the end, over the whole thing) as it’s a bit sheer.
5. Paint the rest of your menorah! I used blue and white paint, and made a lighter blue to add a pretty diamond design.
Paint along the edges as well. This stuff dries quickly, so it’s easy to layer it in one session.
6. If you want your menorah to have a pretty glossy surface, coat it with a layer of gloss finish decoupage glue. Note: DO NOT let it pool! I made that mistake. Coat it with an even layer, don’t be lazy like me 😉
7. When it’s (mostly) dry, add a string to hang it through the hole that you made!
Your Hanukkah craft for kids is complete! I hope you love how your menorah fingerprint keepsake came out.
New! Get the Hanukkah coloring page packet! You can find it in my Etsy shop, or on Gumroad, or purchase it here: