Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel

I grew up celebrating Hanukkah. No real traditions other than some presents, lighting a candle each night, and maybe dinner with the grandparents.

When I had children of my own, I continued to celebrate in the same way. Only difference was that I had a gift for each night of Hanukkah so that every night my kids had something "festive" to look forward to. 

Over the years, my kids requests and yearning for more fun activities yielded to so many new traditions. We now dance the horah around the living room coffee table, we each light our very own menorah, and we play dreidel with gelt (chocolate gold coins)

Chanukah Gelt - Bulk

After 34 years, I rediscovered the magic of Hanukkah. We often think that all our kids want are toys and to open lots of presents. But the reality is, they want us to play with them, engage with them, and have things to look forward to.

My kids have a countdown for everything and I am happy that now they countdown to Hanukkah too.

Kid's Menorahs from Amazon

So, last year, I learned for the first time in my life how to play Dreidel. So, if you are anything like me, which I hope someone out there can relate, here are instructions on how to play:



1. Any number of players

2. Each player begins with the same number of Gelt (chocolate gold coins) or any other playing piece you want to use; pennies, nuts, jellybeans--the possibilities are endless.

3. Every player starts by playing one Gelt in the middle, known as the "pot". Everytime the pot empties, every player must place one Gelt back in.

4. Take turns spinning the Dreidel. Depending on what side the Dreidel lands on will dictate what you must do:

  • Nun means “nisht” or “nothing.” The player does nothing.
  • Gimel  means “gantz” or “everything.” The player gets everything in the pot.
  • Hey means “halb” or “half.” The player gets half of the pot. (If there is an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes half of the total plus one).
  • Shin  means “shtel” or “put in.” The player adds a game piece to the pot.

5. If someone runs out of pieces (Gelt or other), they are out of the game, or can ask another player for a "loaner."

6. When one person has won all the Gelt (or other pieces), the game is over, and that person has won.

7. Hopefully the winner will share the Gelt and everyone can enjoy it together.


Such a fun and easy game to play as a family or for the kids to play with their friends. Traditions can be easy and fun, which is what we try to do at Festive Kids. We are a constant reminder that Holidays should be fun and not stressful. 


We hope you are enjoying being Festive with us. Happy Hanukkah!


Xo, Sheila


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