Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel

I had a little dreidel,
I made it out of clay,
And when it's dry and ready,
Oh, dreidel, I shall play!

In our house, tops are are some of the most-played-with toys...
This top makes chugging noises as the tiny train goes round & round the track (and even the tiny gate goes up and down...) It's one of the prizes in our collection!

Here are some tiny tops we made ourselves.

When Hanukkah rolls around, our collection of dreidels comes out of storage to join our usual collection of tops.  And, we don't limit ourselves to traditional dreidels -- the ones with flashing lights are favorites around here!

This is one of our most outrageous...  As it spins around, lights flash and it emits space-blaster noises... No wonder the little sticker on the "launcher" declares this to be a "Techno Draydel!"

While the flashing, singing dreidels are fun, you cannot play a proper game of dreidel with them.  To play the game, we use these beautiful, olive-wood dreidels from Israel.  Here's how you play:

A dreidel has a Hebrew letter on each of its 4 sides.  The letters are “nun,” “gimel,“ “hay” and “shin” which stand for the words “Nes Gadol Haya Sham.” This means “A Great Miracle Happened There.”  The dreidel game is usually played with pennies or nuts.  To start, each player puts a penny (or nut) into a small bowl in the center of the table, then one player spins the dreidel.  If “nun” comes up the spinner does nothing and the next player starts their turn; “hay” means the spinner takes half of the coins in the bowl; “shin,” the spinner adds a penny to the bowl; “gimel,” the spinner takes all coins in the bowl.  When the bowl is emptied everyone  adds another coin and the game continues until one player wins all the coins. 

This year Hanukkah begins at sunset on December 20th.  Perhaps you'll join the fun this holiday season and try a game of dreidel, too!


  1. How fun! I remember as a child playing with dreidels even though we were not Jewish. I'm not sure why my mother got them for us--to educate us or because we lived in a town with a large Jewish population, but we had fun.

  2. Oh, how fabulous!
    While i was madly stitching today you flittered in and out of my thoughts..one of those thought was "when does Hanukkah actually start?" now I know.

  3. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday, Margaret! I will be featuring your post tomorrow!

  4. i love the photo of your 2 boys :)

    happy channukah!


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