Tag Archives: dreidel

Dreidel Boredom Prevention

caramel dreidel

spinning caramel dreidel

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. Continue reading

K’Nex Dreidel Launcher

K'NEX dreidel and launcher

K’NEX dreidel and launcher

A K’NEX dreidel launcher. Because people tell me that dreidels can get boring. Continue reading

Spinning Origami Dreidel

Paul Jackson's "Dreidl" made by 3 generations

Spinning “Dreidl” models

A 3-D paper dreidel that spins can attract kids who normally run the other way when they see origami on offer.  It moves. Continue reading

K’NEX spinning Dreidel, DIY kits (home or school)

easy to make, easy to spin

easy to make, easy to spin

I’m hooked.  I’m not even a K’NEX fan, but it turns out that a K’NEX dreidel is absolutely irresistible to build and to play with.  These dreidels spin like mad, are easy to assemble and don’t fling themselves to bits, even when doing battle in a dreidel arena.  Imagine students building these at a Hanukkah Carnival . . . Continue reading

The Spin on Gendered dreidels

"Girl color" or "boy color." Adult role model included.

“Girl color” or “boy color.” Adult role model included.

In which I modify store-bought dreidel kits, and lament the gendering of an otherwise gender-neutral toy. Continue reading

Kid-decorated dreidels DIY

My Earnest Sunday School Teacher hat is on:

Kindergarten dreidels

Kindergarten dreidels

Dreidels are great teaching tools. To paint and decorate a dreidel means a kid learns the 4 Hebrew letters and how to form them, and the Hebrew acronym that points to the reason for the season: Nes Gadol Haya Sham (A great miracle happened there.)  And, there’s the dreidel game, of course, which Continue reading

Printable Dreidel rules, letter names and meanings

print this JPEC or click on the pdf link below

print this JPEG or click on the pdf link below

Need a quick visual to remind players of dreidel game rules?  Or to show kids the shapes of nun, gimmel, hey and shin for dreidel crafts?  Or what the letters on a dreidel stand for? Click this link to print the pdf: Dreidel Letter Cheat Sheet Continue reading

Meatloaf Menorah

MeatloafMenorhcandles1 text
Mmmmmmm, a menorah made of meat, in honor of the Shabbat during Hanukkah.

Actually, I made two:
1) a free-standing meatloaf menorah, and
2) a flat, branched meatloaf menorah (see below). Continue reading

Tangram Dreidel Toast

tangram dreidel toast

tangram dreidel toast

A tangram toast dreidel may prove to be my least popular post, but as I tell my children, you gotta be you, even if no one wants to be around the you you gotta be. Continue reading

A new SPIN on Edible Dreidels: Caramel Dreidel


caramel dreidel

I give you an edible dreidel that actually spins.  It shares the chief values of the marshmallow dreidel and my mini-marshmallow dreidels—values which lie in the building, the writing upon (with food-safe markers) and the eating.  To these attractions, the caramel dreidel adds the bonus of spin. Continue reading

Instant goodie bags for Hanukkah Classroom visits

re-used gelt bags

re-used gelt bags

Here’s a quick, cheap way to make teeny goody bags for your Hanukkah classroom visit.  IF you do gelt.
These are very, very simple.  I could go all Target Dollar Spot and use fancy bags and woven ribbon and include more gelt and hand-lettered name tags, but this particular goody baglet is meant to be a token gift for a minor holiday: a good-will gesture from the token Jews in the room. Continue reading

Printable Dreidel Rules (gift tags)

Two-sided tags: dreidel rules and a 2 sentence explanation of Hanukkah

Two-sided tags: dreidel rules and a 2 sentence explanation of Hanukkah

I usually give out dreidels when I’m the Hanukkah Parent on a classroom visit. Dreidels are fun to spin, they (sort of) tell the story of Hanukkah in 4 letters, and they distract the children from the fact that I’m not giving them any gelt at all (long story).

Most of the kids aren’t Jewish, so they haven’t grown up playing dreidel.  They don’t know from dreidel rules, AT ALL. Granted, nowadays mum and dad can Google the rules on an iPhone right there in the school parking lot the minute the kid gets into the minivan, BUT… Continue reading

Glow in the Dark Dreidel and Glow Arena

Instant DIY Glow Dreidel Arena

Instant DIY Glow Dreidel Arena

Of course a glow-in-the-dark Dreidel Arena needs a glow-in-the-dark dreidel.  Why didn’t I think of it before?  My friend Kathryn (at Joyful Jewish) put me up to it after she read about my arena idea last week.  And that’s when the stealth crafting began… Continue reading

Printable how-to for simple LEGO dreidel

print it, show it to your kid.

Beloved LEGO nerds and LEGO enablers: print this pdf, show it to your kid and let her rummage through the LEGO bins to find the seven, particular pieces.  (Rummaging is part of the fun. Match the part to the pic: how many studs across and down?  Brick or plate?)  She can assemble the seven pieces as per the illustration.  She can then add the letters.  Voila: a LEGO dreidel.

Should your bins not produce all these parts, just substitute.  Four 2×2 bricks are Continue reading

Dreidel Arenas: easy, instant

giant Hot Wheels track dreidel arena

giant Hot Wheels track dreidel arena

If you get crabby when dreidels fall off the table or roll under the sofa, a dreidel arena is key to a happy Hanukkah.  An arena corrals the dreidels and defines the play space. And, if your dreidel play includes battles, an arena is a must: the sides keep dreidels in action longer and coax them back toward each other. Continue reading

LEGO dreidel kit: giveaway

LEGO dreidel kit giveaway

Would you like to win a LEGO dreidel kit?  Ideally, you’ve all got enough parts at home to make a whole battalion of unique, custom dreidel models, but in case you don’t, take some of mine.  The more LEGO dreidels in the world, the better. Continue reading

DIY LEGO dreidel kits

DIY LEGO dreidels in progress

I am in search of the perfect LEGO dreidel. In this case, perfection means cheap, easy and fun. The model will need to attract Chanukah carnival go-ers between the ages of four and eleven, each of whom will be offered a chance to make and take said ideal dreidel.  Thus, above all, it’s going to have to spin.  Really spin.

My search might benefit you, too: you, the grownup with a LEGO lover at home or in the classroom. The act of building a LEGO dreidel is chock full o’ educational benefits.  So many elements to consider: you’ve got to have four balanced sides; a low center of gravity; a minimum of friction; a smooth, wide contact point and a design that doesn’t fling itself to bits when it bashes into another dreidel. Figuring all this out with your kid is more than half the fun. Continue reading

Swim Noodle Dreidel

Swim Noodle Dreidel, spins

spinning Swim Noodle Dreidel

I couldn’t resist.  What better accompaniment to a Swim Noodle Menorah than a Swim Noodle Dreidel?  Besides, I had noodle waste.

When one trims a swim noodle to the appropriate Menorah candle length, one generates noodle waste.

How I made it:
As a complete afterthought, believe me. It ain’t pretty, but it SPINS. Continue reading

Dreidel Challah, Menorah Challah

menorah challah, dreidel challah

When Hanukkah and Shabbat coincide, the challah deserves a thematic tweak.  The preschooler and I made a big Menorah Challah and a few little Dreidels.

We learned that using food dye to color the “flames” orange is not worth the trouble.  After the challah is baked, the food color merges with the golden egg wash.  But it was fun to try, and now we have orange palms for the rest of the day. Continue reading

LEGO Dreidels, DIY

LEGO dreidels

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 Continue reading