The dreidel is a four-sided top that is used for a game played during the Hanukkah season. The dreidel has four Hebrew letters placed one on each side. During Chanukah or Hanukkah, the dreidel is the best known symbol. Making a homemade paper dreidel for Hanukkah is easy if you have the template to follow. The dreidel may be made from precious metal, metal, wood, plastic, clay, paper, or thin cardboard.
When making a homemade paper dreidel, use a template and cut the original design from paper. If you want the dreidel to be sturdier, glue the template onto thin cardboard. A cereal box or the back of a notebook would work nicely. By gluing the template onto cardboard, it will make it harder to cut out but the dreidel will last longer. Let the glue dry completely before cutting out the dreidel, if the template has been glued down on cardboard. Another way to make a cardboard dreidel is to use the template provided, cut it out and trace the pattern onto the cardboard.
Once the easy homemade paper dreidel has been cut out, decorate the surface of the dreidel with crayon, marker or colored pencils. Make sure not to cover the Hebrew signs on each side of the homemade dreidel. Once the decorating has been completed, fold along the fold lines to make the shape of a top. Glue the flaps all to the inside of the dreidel.
Once the glue has dried on the flaps, carefully insert a straw or small dowel approximately 6″ long through the hole on the top of the homemade paper dreidel. Carefully push the straw or dowel through the dreidel until it is as far as it can go in the point of the homemade top.
The four Hebrew letters on the dreidel are Shin, Hey, Gimmel and Nun. Each letter stands for a different action that the person spinning the top will perform once the dreidel has stopped spinning. If an individual spins Shin (PEH) – the loose all their coins, Hey – they win half of the pot, Gimmel – they win everything in the pot, Nun – the persons turn is lost and the game passes to the next player.
Once the homemade paper dreidel is finished the game may be played. Two to four people may play the game. Each person grabs a handful of tokens (pennies, chocolate, beads, etc.) which is called gelt. The remainder of the tokens is left in the middle of the table. The individual who is the youngest always starts the spinning. Whatever letter lands on the top of the dreidel is the action that the player will perform. The game continues until one player has all the tokens.
Hanukkah begins on 25 Kislev and ends eight days later. The celebration for Hanukkah actually starts at sundown of the day before the actually Hanukkah date. Hanukkah dates for 2009 are December 12th – December 19th. Future dates for the Hanukkah celebration are December 2nd – 9th, 2010; December 21st – 28th, 2011; December 9th – 16th, 2012; November 28th – December 5th, 2013; December 17th – 24th, 2014; and December 7th -14th, 2015.
Resources: Holidays.net and Bill Bear 4 Kids