The intersection of Lego and Jewish holidays is always fun. Especially if the constructions actually do stuff. Like spin.
Here are a few Lego dreidels we created with oddments at home. They all spin, some better than others. Ideally, they’d all have the proper letter on each side: nun, gimmel, hey and shin, but I only added letters to the dreidels we figured on keeping around awhile. Lego are precious materials, so permanent creations are rare. The little darlings get pressed—literally— into service at a moment’s notice.
Ideas for adding letters: wrap dreidel in tape and write letters on the tape. Add Avery dot stickers and write letters on the stickers. Use aleph-bet rubber stamps on above-mentioned Avery stickers. If you buy from Benny’s Educational Toys, get the aleph-bet stickers or special dreidel letter stickers and use them. Or, break out the Sharpies. Actually, oil pastels work okay, but they’ll rub off on hands and clothes and everything else. For how to shape the letters, see here. Dreidel game rules (including name and meaning of each letter), see my printable Dreidel Letter cheat sheet.
If you are interested in a kid-size version of the science of dreidels, look at the book Four Sides, Eight Nights: a New Spin on Hanukkah, by Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi. It has, among other fascinating bits, just enough about “friction, inertia, tangential points and speed as they relate to the art and science of dreidel” to make you feel absolutely brilliant. (Quote is from my 2005 review of the book in BookPage.)
I’d like to made a huge dreidel with the letter made out in Lego tiles or bricks, but this will wait for the actual holiday. Something to do after Maoz Tzur is long past and the flames are guttering.
To bestir creative juices, I provide links below to Lego Dreidel examples I pulled off the web:
(the letters were put on in the wrong order, by the way. Hebrew should read from right to left. But it’s a cute design.)
(the letters are in english, ye gads!, but the structure of the dreidel is interesting)
- http://www.brickshtick.com/store/p215/LEGO_Dreidels_.html (for sale at Val Glaser’s shop)
And, if you are besotted by Lego, may I suggest a fabulous book? Just bought it, myself. It doesn’t have the color photography of lush coffee table books, but it is a solid a guide to the basics of Lego. No kidding, it’s on my bedside table. The Unofficial Lego Builder’s Guide, by Allan Bedford. I recently reviewed The Cult of Lego for BookPage, and it, too is on my current stack, along with The Lego Ideas Book. Both books are of the lush variety and perhaps a bit too stimulating for bedtime reading. Lego dreams do not make for restful sleep.
I get zero dollars from anything I endorse on this site, by the way. I like sharing stuff that works for me, that’s all.