Arts & Crafts

DIY Dreidel Game for Hanukkah

By: Highlights Editorial
Two children playing with dreidels and gelt
minute activity
Ages 3+
Critical Thinking
Fine Motor Skills

Most dreidels have Hebrew letters that stand for the words Nes Gadol Hayah Sham. Translated, this means, “A great miracle happened there.” There are also letters that relate to the amount of gelt players should add to the pot or take from it when playing the dreidel game. Read on about how to make the dreidel and play the game!

What You'll Need

What to Do

  1. Cut a section from the end of the toothpaste box. Then cut the open ends of the box to make four triangular shapes.

    How to cut the carboard box for the dreidel shape.
  2. Wrap paper around the box and fasten with glue or tape. Trim the paper around the triangular shapes and tape together.

  3. Use a pencil to poke a hole on the top of the dreidel. Make a knob by rolling a small piece of paper and gluing it into the hole.

  4. Use a marker or construction paper to add the letters to each side:

    Nun (nothing)

    Gimel (everything)

    Hay (half)

    Shin (put in)

  5. Make a pile of raisins or nuts for the money pot or gelt.

To Play

Spin the dreidel. Based on which side lands up, you give or get gelt from the pot. Play until one person has everything.

Extend the Fun

Younger kids: Play the dreidel song as your child plays the game. Then as your child puts in or takes out raisins or nuts, help them with the concept of half, nothing and everything. (We think they’ll catch on quickly to that last one.)  

Older kids: Have your child keep track of how many times the dreidel lands on each side. Check the results after 10 spins, 20 spins and 25 spins. Which side turns up more often than the others? Ask your child to guess why this might be happening. If possible, repeat the study again with a different dreidel.

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Author Photo
By: Highlights Editorial