Spin a Gimel with These Great Gifts for Kids

Hanukkah Dreidel and GeltNothing’s more memorable than a bad gift.

Themed holiday socks, a singing wall-mounted bass or basically anything you’ve ever seen on an infomercial at 3 a.m. can round out that list pretty well.

And when it comes to what to get your young children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and the like, you certainly don’t want to disappoint and make for a rather lackluster holiday.

But finding the perfect Chanukah gift for kids doesn’t mean mega toy monster trucks or Tickle Me Elmos (remember those?).

A truly meaningful gift combines the spirit of the holiday, a little bit of pizzazz and a dash of educational value (sorry kids, but your parents will agree with me on this one).

deforma-building-blocks-1-photo-from-amazon-comMaking the Menorah

For the Lego generation — and those passing it on to their kids — Deforma Building Blocks (ages 6 and up) are a fun way to allow kids to create their own menorah.

Shaping the menorah is educational too, helping kids to practice problem-solving techniques and motor-development skills. Plus, who doesn’t love building blocks?

The set is just over $20 and can be bought on Amazon.com.

Holiday Sweaters

It’s always nice to show up to a holiday party with a little swag, and nothing is cuter on kids than ironic Chanukah sweaters (right?).

Etsy.com is the best place to go for just the thing, whether they’re “You Spin Me Right Round” onesies with cartoon dreidels or your run-of-the-mill ugly sweaters that say “Happy Hanukkah.”

Some people on the site even custom make “My 1st Hanukkah” bibs and baby shower gifts.

Some other personal favorite graphic tees: “Little Latke Lover,” “Jewish Christmas” featuring a Chinese takeout box or “Jew Chainz” with long gold necklaces printed on the shirt with a Jewish star and chai pendant.

hanukkah-nail-decals-midrashmanicures-com-bBody Art

Now don’t get carried away, we’re not talking about tattoos and the like (your bubbie would have a conniption). But for those approaching bar and bat mitzvah age — those delightful preteen years — temporary metallic flash tattoos will make their friends envious.

Temporary flash tattoos have been all the rage in the past year — even for adults — and Modern Tribe creates Jewish ones like a hamsa, latkes, dreidels, menorahs and so on. They can be purchased at ModernTribe.com for $12.95.

On top of that, nail art is super popular, and that means — you guessed it — people are painting latkes on their fingernails.

But for those a little less artistically inclined, you can buy nail art stickers with images like Judah Maccabee, gelt or Chanukah candles.

Chanukah season is officially on its way — and on your fingertips.

Hanukkah Nail Decals are $11.99 at MidrashManicures.com.

Sweet Tooth

Kids don’t want just any chocolate. They want cool chocolate — er, right?

The popular Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City (and several other locations across the country) has decadent sweets for the holiday, ranging from your typical gelt and chocolates to decorative-themed Chanukah cookies.

You also can’t go wrong with Mensch Mints or the Mensch Hanukkah Cookie, featuring that signature Jewish beard. Or really just chocolate works, am I right?

Check out DylansCandyBar.com to order.

mad-libsJoke Books

For kids, really nothing is funnier than replacing average text with the word “boogers.” And with “Hanukkah Mad Libs,” that laughter never has to end.

The notorious fill-in- the-blank stories have 21 options to rewrite the lighting of the menorah and the spinning of the dreidel — more than enough to occupy eight nights of Chanukah.

You can purchase the book on Amazon.com.

Games and Cuddly Thingskosherland-board-game-bed-bath-and-beyond

To get kids off their phones and video games to enjoy a little more family time, try a simple board game. But not just any board game: Kosherland.

Kosherland — yes, the “O” in Kosherland is a bagel — is a beginner’s game for Jewish kids, following Jewish themes, culture and tradition. You can buy it for $12.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.

While you’re in that same aisle, pick up a copy of the Jewish Old Maid Card Game too.

If your child prefers stuffed toys to board games, Bed Bath & Beyond also sells the Dancing Hanukkah Puppy for $19.99 — “a plush dachshund dressed in a blue winter scarf and knit cap, carrying a Hanukkah menorah on his back” that plays music and dances — or the $29.99 Hanukkah Bear with 20 mini-lights, a bowtie and kippah.

You can’t go wrong with any of these options for the Festival of Lights.

Rachel Kurland is a reporter at the Jewish Exponent in Philadelphia, an affiliated publication of the Baltimore Jewish Times.

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