With Hanukkah approaching, I am asked questions daily, all beginning with the same introduction: “I’ll bet you know where I can buy…..” And so, here it is, Laurie’s list of great places to buy absolutely cool materials to use in your Hanukkah projects.
For your basic supply needs, you can rely on Lakeshore Learning Materials. For your special Hanukkah projects, I suggest that you spend the extra money to buy sulphite paper. It is brighter and smoother than conventional construction paper and gives a finished look to even the most elementary projects. Currently, Lakeshore is offering a coupon for $10.00 off a $50.00 purchase. You can order directly from the website (www.LakeshoreLearning.com) or print the coupon from the website to use in the stores.
If you are doing anything with fabric, your source is 1-800-dreidel. Your textile wishes will be fulfilled with Hanukkah fabrics and dreidel ribbons, both sold by the yard. They will even die cut the fabric into letters and shapes for a small extra fee. Here also are thin, unfinished wooden stars, unfinished wooden star beads and plaster shapes in Hanukkah motifs, all ready for you to paint.
Surprisingly, you can get Hanukkah shapes die cut from fun foam sheets, from Oriental Trading Company. After accessing the website (www.OrientalTrading.com), go to the crafts area and type ‘Hanukkah’ into the search box. Several craft kits will appear. These are sold in packages of a dozen projects. Do not concern yourself with the final product as shown. Use the die cut Stars of David and dreidels instead of paper to jazz up your favorite projects. Also here are painted wooden beads in star and dreidel shapes. The holes are not always completely cut so I use them to glue onto picture frames, wood plaques and light switch covers (instructions are in my book The Reluctant Artist).
For your sparkly needs, head for your favorite craft store, but skip the aisle with the glitter! Glitter sheds, and art completed with glitter should not be laminated. (The glitter can ‘pit’ the laminate and those who laminate student work after you will be justifiably angry.) More importantly, when glitter is offered to students, it becomes the focus of their attention and the essence of what you are teaching loses significance. You do not need glitter to give light to your projects. Use metallic gold activity paint in place of yellow. Get pearlized pigment powder or holographic glitter dust; add it to paint, sprinkle it gently over still wet projects or brush it lightly over dry work for a subtle glow. And for a special surprise, offer each student a sparkling, acrylic gem to glue onto a job done carefully and thoughtfully.
Shifting out of craft mode and into the realm of toys, Fisher Price has a charming ‘little people’ playset for Hanukkah. The set retails for $30.00 and can also be purchased online at www.FisherPrice.com. Your little people can gather the whole family of play people around the fireplace for the holiday and even light the mini-Hanukkiah!
May the joy and warmth of your activities endure for a long time to come.