Shalom, everyone! Hanukkah is right around the corner–YAY! Some people do gifts every night; some buy toys and games, but Brad and I save common purchases for their birthdays and instead have made a tradition of giving gifts that will enrich their spiritual lives and reinforce their heritage on just one night during this special holiday. What kind of gifts do we get? I decided to share what’s on my list for this year and things that we’ve previously bought and love!
Here’s my top eight list of gift ideas, in no particular order, along with appropriate age range. (Click on the image to purchase!)
1. Elisha Davidson and the Letters of Fire by M.R. Attar (age 7 and up)
– “In the Old City of Jerusalem, a secret school exists which trains students in an all-powerful otherworldly wisdom. Young Elisha Davidson isn’t considered one of their most promising students, but after he accidentally discovers a strange ‘stone’ buried behind the walls of his own home, he ends up unleashing mysterious letters of fire that plunge him into a labyrinth of ancient scripture, legend and mysticism. Now Elisha is not only light-years ahead of his classmates, he’s reached a more advanced level than his school’s most venerated ‘master’. What happens when Elisha suddenly holds the keys to unimaginable ancient powers?
Elisha Davidson and the Letters of Fire isn’t based on fantasy. It draws only on non-fiction manuscripts, dating as far back as 5,775 years ago, and exposes the most extraordinary and cryptic teachings of the human race.”
You can hear a radio interview with the author HERE!
2. My First Parsha Reader
(age 3-8) – “Immensely enjoyed by preschoolers, as well as by beginning readers. Easy Sentences. Full page illustrations. Enjoyable to tell, enjoyable to listen to, enjoyable to read. It is also being successfully used in the field of special education.”
We use this series for homeschooling to get the basic themes and stories from each week’s parsha. My oldest is learning to read and does his out loud reading. And then we go through the comprehension questions at the end of each section.
3. Tribes of Israel Game (age 5 and up) –
Remember playing the “Monotonous” game as a kid–well, at least, that’s what my family called it! This is a much better version, and just as fun! You and your family will enjoy “settling the land” of Israel and learning about the Scriptures in a fun and memorable way.
“Choose your game piece (Tree of Life, Torah Scroll, Haggadah, Shofar, Matzah, Menorah, Ten Commandments or Grapes) and begin buying properties in each of the twelve Tribes of Israel. Hours of fun for up to 8 players. All cards are laminated for long lasting fun for your entire family. Playing pieces are sturdy pewter.”
4. Apples to Apples Junior: Jewish Edition (age 8-14) -“The Apples to Apples Junior Jewish Edition brings the award-winning card and party game, Apples to Apples, to the Jewish family. Players from ages nine and up will delight in the crazy comparisons while expanding their knowledge of Jewish themes and thinking skills. It’s as easy as comparing “apples to apples”. Just open the box, deal the cards, and you’re ready for instant family fun. Select the card from your hand that you think is most like the card played by the judge. If the judge picks your card, you win that round. And, everyone gets a chance to be the judge. Each round is filled with surprising comparisons from a wide range of people, places, things and events. Fast moving and refreshing, the game is easy to learn and fun to play. It’s the perfect game for kids, families and friends.”
5. Artscroll Children’s Siddur by Shmuel Blitz (age 6 and up) –
“This Siddur was compiled by Shmuel Blitz, in consultation with master teachers. It has the basic prayers with which children begin their lives. The translations and instructions are on their level. And they’ll be fascinated by all the “Did you Knows” and “Closer Looks”. (So will you!) This siddur also features Tova Katz’s illustrations. They are lovely and enticing. They’ll keep children coming back to this Siddur again and again.”
This siddur has strong binding and a stain-proof cover for durability.
6. Little Pim: Hebrew (age 6 months and up) – If you’re wanting to start your family on the path to learning Hebrew, this is a great first series to get for you and your children.
“Your child will love exploring the Hebrew language alongside Little Pim, the playful cartoon panda bear who serves as the series’ “teacher.” Little Pim will take your child on a journey as they watch real children enjoy everyday activities, such as playing, eating, waking and napping.” **They now offer versions for smartphones and tablet devices!**
7. Shalom Sesame (age 3-6) – This series is a family favorite. We like to play this in the car on road trips.
“This new series from the creators of Sesame Street introduces Jewish holidays, traditions, and cultures to viewers of all ages. It features the loveable, well-known cast from Sesame Street, new friends from Israel, and celebrities. Join Grover as he explores Israel, its people and places, and learns new things. Get ready to laugh and sing with this next generation of the popular classic, Shalom Sesame!”
8. Sheldon Low’s “It’s all Challah to Me!” and “Look at Me!” with Rick Recht (all ages) – These two albums are so fun! The songs are catchy and feature both Hebrew and English, making it fun to learn Hebrew blessings, prayers, words and phrases that your whole family will remember. Great for car rides or sitting at home–but I guarantee you’ll want to get up and dance with the upbeat tunes!