Wondering how to keep the kids busy during Hanukkah? Give them a Dreidel and they will be happy! There are countless games that can be played during Hanukkah; here are my top 5 picks on Hanukkah games.
The driedel game
Now I am sure most people already know of what a driedel is but what do the letters mean and how do you play the game? The Yiddish word “dreydl” comes from the word “dreyn” which means “to turn.” As you already know, the driedel is a 4 sided spinning top and each side has a Hebrew letter. נ (Nun), ג (Gimel), ה (Hei), ש (Shin), which together form the acronym for “נס גדול היה שם” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”). According to Wikipedia “these letters also for a mnemonic for the runles of a gambling game played with the driedel: Nun stands for the Yiddish word nite (“nothing”), Hei stands for halb (“half”), Gimel for gants (“all”), and Shin for shteln (“put”). In Israel, the fourth side of most dreidels is inscribed with the letter פ (Pei), rendering the acronym, נס גדול היה פה, Nes Gadol Hayah Po-“A great miracle happened here” referring to the miracle occurring in the land of Israel. Some stores in Haredi neighbourhoods may sell the traditional ש dreidels.” (web). You can click here to learn how to play the game.
Hot Dreidel or musical dreidel
This is basically a version of hot potato or musical chairs, whichever is easier for you to understand. The kids will sit in a circle and once the music starts, the kids will pass around the dreidel until the music stops. Whoever has the dreidel when the music stops is out. Keep doing this until there is only one person left, whoever wins at the end gets to keep the dreidel.
Construction Paper Menorah
Another cute idea to make a Menorah out of construction paper, you can print out a menorah outline from the net so the kids can trace it. Then they can color it and glue yellow and orange paper to the top to make it look like flames. Then the kids can hang it on the fridge when they get home.
Star of David chain
Remember those construction paper chain link chains we used to make as kids? Well, this is the same basic idea except you need to cut out the Star of David instead of just plain strips. You might want to cut out a bunch for the kids prior to the event but this is a fun idea!
Star of David Window Sticker
The kids can also make a Star of David to put in the car window. All you need to do is cut out a few Stars out of Construction paper, allow the kids to go to town with coloring them and then just use some scotch tape to tape it to the inside of the window or put it on the fridge if you want.
If your religion is important to you, it is important to start teaching your kids about the holidays and their meanings at a young age. I hope your kids enjoy these games and crafts!