Midweek-Hanukkah Dreidel boredom? I hear from grownups every year: “five minutes and they’re done with dreidel.”
Either I’m an infant or you guys aren’t playing right. You don’t have to play the dreidel game and only the dreidel game.
Upside-down launches, launch from a standing throw, dreidel wars, spin contests, instant battle arenas, glow-in-the-dark paint and so forth can sustain dreidel love for more than 5 minutes. It’s about the love of spin.
First, do you own a variety of store-bought dreidels? The more, the better: all sizes, materials. Some are better than others at the upside-down business. (The one-inch plastic or wooden kind are stellar.) At school, I add some secular tops, too, for compare/contrast.
I highly recommend a dreidel arena. It keeps play contained, focused. They are free, instant and made of stuff already lying around.
Add some DIY LEGO, K’NEX —or any material you and your kid find irresistible—and you’ve got 8 days of dreidel variety.
Here’s a roundup of Bible Belt Balabusta dreidel posts thus far:
Dreidel Game / Letter names, meanings (Printable)
Dreidel Arenas, instant (out of stuff already lying around)
LEGO Dreidel (Printable How-to for simple square version)
LEGO Dreidel DIY ideas, here and here
K’NEX Spinning Driedels DIY
K;NEX Spinning Dreidel launcher DIY
Origami Dreidels (flat, for cards, banners)
Origami Dreidels (that actually spin)
Caramel Dreidels (that spin)
Marshmallow Dreidels (reg. and mini)
Dreidel Tangram Puzzle (printable)
Driedel Tangram Toast
Dreidel Arenas (Glow in the Dark Necklace chains)
Glow-in-the-Dark Dreidels (spray paint)
Decorate a Dreidel (options for kids to add letters, etc.)
Swim Noodle Dreidel
Dreidel Cookies with chocolate letters
Dreidel Science: I highly recommend the nonfiction picture book Four Sides, Eight Nights: a New Spin on Hanukkah, by Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi. Among other fascinating tidbits and lore, It relates 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.)