Dreidel Paper Model Sheet

The dreidel game is a children’s game for Hanukkah. A dreidel is a top with four sides, each showing a Hebrew letter. The letters stand for the words of the phrase nes gadol haya sham, which means “A great miracle happened there!” It’s a reference to the original Hanukkah, when a small container of oil miraculously kept a menorah glowing for eight days.

How to Play

You need at least two players who each have ten small items (such as ten matches, one-cent coins, gummy bears, or whatever you have handy). Each player takes turns spinning the dreidel, then passes it to the next player on the left. The letter that lands on top tells you want to do.

  • Nes (miracle) means nothing. Nothing happens. You don’t win anything and you don’t lose anything.
  • Gadol (great) means everything. You win everything. Take everything from the middle.
  • Haya (happened) means “half.” Take half of what’s in the middle – plus one if it’s an odd number.
  • Sham (there) means “put in.” Put two in the middle.
Five dreidels made of different materials

Jewish Museum Berlin, Photo: Sönke Tollkühn

Children

All Content for ...

Hanukkah

More on This Topic ...

Jewish Holidays

More on This Topic ...