How to play dreidel at Hanukkah

Learn how to play dreidel, the classic Hanukkah game, in four easy steps. Bonus: The reason we play dreidel in the first place!

Playing dreidel is a traditional game for kids and adults to play at Hanukkah, an annual holiday celebrated by Jewish people in late November or December (but please, don’t call it Jewish Christmas).

Other than just spinning it, how do you actually play dreidel? Here’s everything you need to know about these fun spinning tops.

What is a dreidel?

A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top with a pointed bottom. It is used for a game that is traditionally played during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Dreidels come in various sizes and tend to be made out of plastic or wood. Although the word “dreidel” is  Yiddish, not Hebrew, each side of a dreidel has a Hebrew letter on it—nun, gimmel, hey or shin—and each letter corresponds to an action the player takes if they land on it.

Why do we play dreidel?

Unlike other Hanukkah traditions, such as lighting candles and saying a prayer, playing dreidel is not required during Hanukkah. It’s just for fun. So why do we play it at all? There are a number of explanations for why. Most Jewish children are told that a long time ago, when Jewish people were forbidden from studying their religion, they would do so anyway—but when officials approached, they would hide their books and play with spinning tops, claiming they were just having fun.

How to play dreidel

Simply spinning a dreidel is an entertaining activity on its own—in fact, that’s all some Jewish kids ever do with a dreidel! They see whose dreidel will spin the longest, and also whether they can spin the dreidel upside down.

However, there’s an actual dreidel game that families can play, and it’s both simple and fun.



The rules for playing dreidel

1. To start, give each player an equal amount of tokens (say, 10 to 15). You can use coins, nuts, buttons or any small objects. As many people can participate as you’d like. Kids, adults—anyone! (Just remember that small items are choking hazards for children under the age of three.)

2. Each player places one game piece in a pot in the middle of the circle.

3. One player spins the dreidel and completes the action determined by the word they land on.

  • Land on nun: Nothing happens
  • Land on gimmel: Player takes all the tokes in the pot
  • Land on hey: Player gets half the pot
  • Land on shin: Players adds a token to the pot

4. The player passes the dreidel to the next player to do the same.

5. The winner is the person who collects every single token.

Where to buy a dreidel

Dreidels are easiest to source in November and December. You can find them everywhere from dollar stores to Walmart to Jewish specialty shops, depending on where you live.

Stay in touch

Subscribe to Today’s Parent’s daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.

Source link


Toys for Girls


Toys for Boys


Craft Supplies


Baby Walkers

No Preview
Post-Maternity Leave: When is it time for a Detour?
GettyImages 1273629310
First Father’s Day Gifts 2023
GettyImages 1386164413
Best Last Minute Father’s Day Gifts 2023
Untitled design 2023 06 06T150145.573
Princess Eugenie Welcomes Second Son
kate middleton 1
When it’s not just morning sickness
gender chart
Chinese gender predictor to see if you’re having a boy or a girl
shay mitchells got the hacks to dealing with pregnancy swelling and charley horses 1280x1152 shay
Pregnant Shay Mitchell spills her hacks for pregnancy swelling and charley horses
TP x lierac feature
This cult stretch mark treatment promises results in eight weeks
Baby wheezing can sound distressing
Baby Wheezing: Types, Causes And Treatment
Sensory activities for babies are designed to engage
55 Sensory Activities For A One-Year-Old
Retinol When Breastfeeding
Retinol When Breastfeeding: Safety & Alternatives
Baby Sign Language 25 Signs Ways To Teach Benefits And Drawbacks
25 Signs, Ways To Teach, Benefits And Drawbacks
Summer Fun Takes Flight with Viviana Malls Science Fiesta
Summer Fun Takes Flight with Viviana Mall’s Science Fiesta
15 Rebus Puzzles For Kids With Answers And Tips To Solve 2
15 Rebus Puzzles For Kids, With Answers And Tips To Solve
Child temperament is unique for each child
Traits, Types, And Tips To Manage
Sharks are the top predators in the ocean
50 Fun And Interesting Shark Facts For Kids To Know
TP x Tena
I peed my pants at the trampoline park
canadian parents drink less alcohol
Canadian parents are being told they drink way too much and REALLY?!
marie curie science roundup 750x422
Can role playing encourage girls in STEM?
best new period products feature
12 cool and sustainable period products to help manage your flow
Expresso Show LIVE | Parenting Advice | 9 June 2021 | FULL SHOW
Daily English Conversation in Parent Teacher Meeting.
Parenting styles Psych 2015