We planned a day full of fun Chanukah activities, fun décor that can’t help but put everyone in a good mood, and a menu full of delicious dairy Whisk recipes. We planned this party for our readers so that anyone can easily implement any of the ideas you see here. Everything is inexpensive and accessible at craft stores.
But for today, you don’t need to cook anything. Just come, enjoy, and be our guest.
Victoria Dwek and the Whisk by Ami Team
Fun Place Settings to Color While They Wait
If your children are like mine, they hardly sit at a table and eat a bite before they run off and find something that’s more fun to do. But when there are crayons at their place setting, the fun is at the table. Little crayon cello bags double as napkin rings on this table. Use a paper tablecloth or cover the kids’ table at your party with oaktags or giant coloring pages so they can color while they eat—and give the adults a chance to sit and enjoy the meal as well.
To create a fun surface, I lined up paper squares in different patterns. On the buffet and adult table, these paper squares will serve as the table runner. Should I match everything in turquoise, or use a different bright color on each table? Either way works!
Use Toys for a Centerpiece They’ll Totally Dig
Flowers die, and toys…well I can’t say that they last much longer. But they do make a cute centerpiece!
Jelly Bean Sticker Bags for a Portion-Sized Party Favor
If I were a kid, I would think it has to be more fun to get a little bag of jelly beans sealed with a cute sticker than to just grab some from a bowl. As a mommy, I’m thinking, maybe fewer will end up on the floor? And there won’t be any fights that one child got more candy than another? And maybe they’ll want to save their little bag of jelly beans for later and we won’t end up with super-hyper kids by the end of the day? I’m dreaming, right?
Chocolate-Dipped Chanukah Cake Pops
Want to know the secret to easy and delicious cake pops? To save the step of baking and crumbling a cake, I use a Babycakes cake pop maker. Cake balls bake in three minutes, and it’s a cinch to dip them in chocolate. Now for the delicious part. Since candy melts aren’t available chalav Yisrael, and colored baking bars don’t taste nearly as good as real chocolate—skip the colors and just use the best quality bittersweet chocolate you can find. I only use Alprose or Scharffen Berger. You can give them a punch of color using sprinkles. These shiny blue sprinkles are made by Wilton, who offers a huge variety certified by the CRC. They are very accessible, including at The Peppermill in Brooklyn.
Balloon Decor Favor Bags
First—I love these huge latex balloons. They’re the giant 16-inch size—never mind the kids, they even get me excited. Every child loves balloons, and I thought it would be extra fun if each one received a balloon with a personalized bag attached (just keep extra balloons in the bedroom…avoid those tears when one pops or flies away). I’m going to attach empty bags to my balloons. This way, each child has a place to keep all the treats and prizes they’ll collect throughout the day.
Pinned-Up Doughnut Decor
I pinned these mini donuts and cake pops onto a foam board. It’s another fun way to display the treats before they’re consumed.
Who Will Win the Dreidel Tournament?
One of the best parts of the game of dreidel is that older children and teenagers don’t have an advantage over the younger ones. It doesn’t matter how well you spin it, just where it lands! When they arrive at my party, every child (or adult if they want to play too!) will receive a bag with the same amount of fake money and gelt to use in the dreidel tournament (if they eat the gelt, they just have fewer chances to win). We’ll divide everyone up into groups of four to compete…winners will advance to the quarterfinals, the semifinals, and finally…the finals. At the end of the day, there will be one grand dreidel champion (although everyone will get a prize, of course).
Have Fun at Our Dreidel Factory!
At my son’s upsherin, I set up a craft room where children could keep busy and have fun making Purim-themed projects, since his birthday is Rosh Chodesh Adar. It was a hit! At my Chanukah party, we’re going to have a dreidel factory. Jewishcrafts.com has projects ready-to-go, or you can purchase your own wooden pieces. Amazingly, the standard wooden parts available at craft stores (shown here) make great dreidels. Cubes work as the body of the dreidel, doll heads for the bottom, and pegs for the top. Wheels (shown on the right) make a great dreidel stand. Markers and glitter pens (washable only!), mosaic tiles, sequins, rhinestones, foam pieces, and pom poms are some of the ways to decorate. If you can’t find foam Hebrew letters, print out nuns, gimmels, heys, and shins from the computer or let the kids just draw their own.
Stay tuned for part 2, Delightful Dairy Dishes for Your Chanukah Dinner Party.