The dreidel game is great fun and anyone can play. Kids love it, especially if they get to play for candy.
We received an email the other day asking us if we could do a project for Chanukah. Always happy to oblige, we did, and here are the step by step instructions.
My dad and I had great fun working out the best dimensions to get this to spin properly. We tried short squat ones, long thin ones and just about everything in between. We eventually hit on the one we liked best and made a template for you to download.
How to make it
First print out the template and glue it onto a sheet of card. We used a cereal box and it worked really well.
Cut the whole shape out and pierce a hole in the top where the black dot is.
I used a small tack to start the hole by placing it over an eraser and pushing the tack through.
I then used a very sharp pencil to carefully enlarge the hole. Next, score the fold lines then fold and tape your template.
As you can see in the photo, mine looks a bit scruffy where it was scored but that's fine because the paper mache strips will hide it anyway.
I could have folded it with the scored lines on the inside but I thought it would look better on the photo with the template side out rather than the porridge oats box.
The next step was to figure out how to attach the stick to the top to spin it with. We tried a short length of 6mm dowel first but it seemed to make it top heavy and it was difficult to spin.
My dad then decided to cut the dowel longer and to sharpen it to a point and push it all the way through so it could actually spin on the point.
This worked really well but I wanted to use something that most households would have readily available. I eventually decided on an old pen. I'm sure everyone has at least one pen in the house that no longer writes.
Mine collect near the phone and I found one without too much effort. I tried it out and it worked perfectly.
Push the pen through the hole in the top of the dreidel and allow the point to stick out at the bottom. The next step is the paper mache. I was very careful to layer the paper as evenly as possible so as not to give it too much weight on one side.
I only gave it one layer of PM overall but I did a couple of layers on the top where the pen joined the dreidel. This made it strong enough once it was dry and the pen is held firmly in place.
At this stage I pencilled a number on each of the four sides and spun it a few times just to be sure that it fell randomly and that it wasn't weighted to favour one side over the others. Once I was sure it was still spinning properly I gave it a couple of coats of white acrylic.
To decorate I painted the top black and each side a different colour. I have a red side, a green one, a yellow one and a blue one. I did the symbols in contrasting colours on the computer, printed them out and pasted them on. You can download and print the same symbols I used here.
To read more about the dreidel, to learn what the symbols mean and how to play the dreidel game there is an article on the About.com site.
Thank you for the suggestion, Nechama. We always like trying out new things on the site
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