So, maybe in the old days kids made dreidels out of clay (I think there's a song about that...) but not only is that difficult and expensive (a kiln isn't cheap), it would likely result in a dreidel that would break very quickly. Here is a more modern way to make this traditional Hanukkah toy.
You will need:
- 1 old CD or DVD
- Sharpies or other permanent markers
- A ruler
- 2 regular-sized marbles
- tack-it putty (usually comes in blue or white, for hanging posters) or a hot glue gun.
Begin by using your ruler and a Sharpie to draw two perpendicular lines across the top bottom of the CD (which will be the top of your dreidel) in order to form four equal quadrants. I'm sure you could get them absolutely perfect if you used a protractor, but I just eye-balled it with a ruler.
Next use your Sharpies to color the quadrants (optional) and to write the four Hebrew letters:
Now comes the part with the marbles. Place one marble in the hole on the bottom side of your dredeil (the part you did not write on). It will not fit through the hole; most of the marble will stick out the bottom. Use tack-it or hot glue to secure the marble in place. Then place a second marble on top of the first one on the top of the dreidel. This marble will the be the handle that you spin. Secure with tack-it or hot glue.
That's it, our dreidel is done! You will find that this is a very efficient top that will spin for quite awhile. If you find that yours always lands on the same letter, you may have to use a bit of tack-it to weight the the bottom of the other side slightly. You could also glam it up with glitter, sequins etc.
Don't know how to play dreidel? Click here for the rules.
Dreidel Fun Fact: One reason that people play dreidel on Hanukkah is that under Greek Rule, Jews were not allowed to study from the Torah. In order to keep from getting caught studying, Jews would post a look-out and whenever a Greek soldier came to check on them, they would take out the dreidel so that it looked as though they were gambling, instead of learning.