Milk Carton Dreidel – Hanukkah Craft

Part of celebrating Hanukkah is playing a fun game called the Dreidel. It basically is a top which falls down on a side like a dice, influencing what the player does. The traditional Hanukkah dreidel dates back to the time before the Maccabees.

I decided a milk carton would make a perfect dreidel.

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Next, open both sides of the top and trim off the extra to make a triangular point. I used masking tape to secure it, but whatever strong tape will work.

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I then used white acrylic paint to paint the top of my top (say that 10 times fast!).

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After the paint has dried, download my FREE Dreidel Printable Wrap that fits most school-sized half-pint milk cartons, and cut it out. It should be two pieces, one that wraps around three sides and the final that gets glued over the top.

I glued my wrap around the body of the milk carton.

Lastly, I poked a small hole in the bottom and inserted a round craft stick. You could also buy a longer dowel and cut to size.

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I glued it in place so that it would stay.

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Now to play!

The Setup:

  1. All players sit around the playing area.
  2. The “ante” or tokens can be any small objects such as pennies, dried beans, or raisins, and are divided equally among all players.
  3. Players take turns spinning the dreidel; the player with the highest spin has first turn. (Nun is highest, then Gimmel, Hey, and Shin.) If there is a tie, the two who tied spin again.
  4. Everyone puts one unit of the ante (penny, nut, etc.) into the pot.
  5. Play moves clockwise.

To Play:

  1. Each player begins with an equal number of game pieces (usually 10–15).
  2. At the beginning of each round, every participant puts one game piece into the center “pot”. Every player puts one in the pot after every turn.
  3. Each player spins the dreidel once during their turn. Depending on which side is facing up when the dreidel stops spinning, the player either gives or takes game pieces from the pot.

If the dreidel lands on a…

NUN – נ

If נ (nun) is facing up, the player does nothing. The person to the left spins.

GIMMEL – ג

You get to take the whole pot!

Everyone, including the spinner, puts another ante unit into the pot, and the person to the left spins.

HEY – ה

The player gets half of the pieces in the pot. (If there are an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes the half the pot rounded up to the nearest whole number.)

SHIN – ש

Sorry! You now have to put another unit into the pot.

The End – The game ends as soon as the sun comes up, the food is gone or the players have had enough. Have Fun and Happy Hanukkah!

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