What is a Dreidel?
Dreidel is Yiddish for “spinning top.” A dreidel is a pointed, four-sided top normally made of wood or plastic, which can be made to spin on its pointed base. It is commonly played during Hanukkah.
What do we need to play the “Dreidel Game?”
How do we play the “Dreidel Game?”
- If the dreidel lands on “nun,” (which stands for the Yiddish word nisht, or “nothing”), the player does nothing.
- If the dreidel lands on “shin,” (which stands for the Yiddish word shtel, or “put in”) you have to put one of your tokens into the pot.
- If the dreidel lands on “hey,” (which stands for the Yiddish word halb, or “half”) you win half the pot.
- If the dreidel lands on “gimmel,” (which stands for the Yiddish word gantz, or “everything”) the player gets to take all the tokens!
At each new round- after everyone has had a turn to spin- players all add in another token. Also whenever the pot is emptied, or gets down to only one token, everyone adds in a token. A players is out when they run out of tokens, and the game is finished when one person has won it all.
Books and Songs Related to the Dreidel
Be sure to check out The Dreidel that Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah by Martha Seif Simpson. It is a sweet story about shows kids the true spirit of Hanukkah. We also enjoyed these entertaining videos for kids about the dreidel:
Little kids will love to see how Elmo plays dreidel with his monster friends.
This dreidel music video would be perfect for elementary or older, by Jewish a cappella group Shir Soul. They are fantastic!
I hope you enjoyed this little introduction answering my kids’ question “What is a dreidel?” Here are more posts about celebrating Hanukkah for kids.
Welcome to our second annual Hanukkah for Kids blog hop! Be sure to visit all the participating blogs for create ways to share this special time of year with kids. Plus you can find all these and more on our Hanukkah Pinterest board! (And don’t miss last year’s series!)
Kelly’s Classroom on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Hanukkah Is Not Jewish Christmas
Moms & Crafters: Spaghetti Squash Latkes
Kid World Citizen: What Is a Dreidel? How to Make and Play One
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Hanukkah Resources for Kids
The Book of Life: Hanukkah Past and Yet to Come
Ann Koffsky: Coloring Page
Great games for diversity. Will have to introduce this to my class and forward to my colleagues.
Agree with the comment above. Great activity for diversity that could well be very close to home (E.I Judaism) for a lot of students or their friends.