Supplies – Clay DIY Menorah
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- Air Dry Clay
- Small bowl of water
- Clay tools such as popsicle sticks, rolling pins, and cookie cutters
- Acrylic paints for painting the surface. Liquitex is a solid brand.
- Mod Podge or acrylic clear coat to seal it with a shiny coating
A note on clay: Crayola Air Dry Clay feels just like the clay you throw pots on, and my kids were enthralled by the texture. So unlike play dough, and it has the potential to make long-lasting objects.
- Cover your work surface with a vinyl tablecloth or work on a non-precious surface that easily wipes clean.
- If you’re making a Hanukkiah (it holds nine candles, rather than seven), talk about the story of Chanukah and how the Chanukah menorah has eight candles + 1, the shamash, to represent the miracle that oil burned continuously for eight days. I like this kid-friendly version of the Hanukkah Story.
- Set up clay, water, and clay tools.
- Invite your child/ren to make menorahs. Encourage creativity and original thinking.
How we made our DIY Menorahs
- We looked at a metal Hanukkiah for inspiration, and talked about its shape and function.
- We rolled out some clay and I invited my preschool daughter to poke holes in it with a menorah candle. Menorahs hold nine candles, eight for the eight nights of Hanukkah, and a ninth called the shamash (meaning “attendant”) that lights the other candles.
My toddler joined the fun, too! She’s been copying everything her sister does, and after seeing this magic, I wished I had given her a bigger piece of clay to play with.
3. To make room for the shamash, we decided to build a little mound by making a ball of clay, scoring both sides of where it would connect with hatch marks, and then pressing the pieces together.
4. We used a little water and a popsicle stick to smooth out the edges. I read that if there are cracks in this clay it can fall apart once dry, so we were sure to smooth all those cracks right out with water.
5. N decided to use a wooden stick to poke a pattern of holes all over the menorah.
6. She added a hole for the shamash.
My little one was happy to play with a small pot of water and the goopy clay.
We’re enjoying the season, and I think we’ll make salt dough ornaments tomorrow!