Welcome to the BHSS Hanukkah Games Page!
Here’s how to play the basic dreidel game:
- Any number of people can take part.
- Each player begins the game with an equal number of game pieces (about 10-15) such as pennies, nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, matchsticks, etc.
- At the beginning of each round, every participant puts one game piece into the center “pot.” In addition, every time the pot is empty or has only one game piece left, every player should put one in the pot.
- Every time it’s your turn, spin the dreidel once. Depending on the side it lands on, you give or get game pieces from the pot. For those who don’t read Hebrew, some dreidels also feature a transliteration of each letter. If yours doesn’t, use the photo below as a cheat sheet:
- a) Nun means “nisht” or “nothing.” The player does nothing.
- b) Gimel means “gantz” or “everything.” The player gets everything in the pot.
- c) 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).
- d) Shin (outside of Israel) means “shtel” or “put in.” Peh (in Israel) also means “put in.” The player adds a game piece to the pot.
- If you find that you have no game pieces left, you are either “out” or may ask a fellow player for a “loan.”
- When one person has won everything, that round of the game is over!
Virtual Hanukkah Quest:
For example, “You have three minutes to find”:
- Best food to eat with latkes
- Most unusual dreidel
- Funniest hat
- Smallest menorah
- Object that has your first and last initial
- Something Yehuda HaMaccabi would have used
How to play:
Decide beforehand if one person will always ask the questions or if you’ll take turns. To play each round, present the quest and then start the three-minute countdown. Players must be back in front of the screen with the object within the time limit. The questioner scores each player for following directions and creativity. You can record the scores on a shared Google Sheet.
Hanukkah Gelt Challenge
You’ll want to have the camera ready for this game, bound to trigger funny faces in the midst of an awkward pursuit. To play, place an unwrapped chocolate coin on each player’s forehead. The goal is to wiggle, flip or otherwise nudge the candy from there into the player’s mouth. The first one to do it successfully is the winner.
- What’s the difference between Hanukkah and a dragon? One lasts for eight nights the other sometimes ate knights.
- Why was the broom late for work after the Hanukkah party? It over-swept.
- How much Hanukkah gelt did the little skunk get? One scent.
- What do you call the speck that falls into the latke pan? An unidentified frying object.
- What’s the best thing to put into sufganiyot? Your teeth!
- What did the cook say when he was asked if the latkes would be long? No, they’ll be round.
- What did the car say to the dreidel? Want to go for a spin?
- What did the candles say when the menorah complained about getting too hot? Whoa, a talking menorah!
Two Truths and a Lie… About Hanukkah
In this game, a player shares three statements derived from Hanukkah memories or traditions — the more outlandish the better. All of the other players try to guess which one of them is false.
Players: 4-7 players, ages 4 –120. If you have more players, either divide into teams or have concurrent games.
What you’ll need: Pen and paper ~
What to expect: It’s a sitting-down game that can quickly get wild with laughter!
How to play:
1. The first player writes a Hanukkah sentence at the top of a paper and passes the paper to the left.
2. The next person illustrates that sentence, folds over the paper so you can only see the picture, and passes it to the left.
3. The next person writes a sentence about that picture, folds over the paper so you can only see the sentence, and passes to the left.
4. Draw, fold, pass ->write, fold, pass -> draw, fold, pass -> write, fold, pass -> draw, fold, pass -> until you get to the end of the paper.
5. Unfold and read the results!
Go on a “light hunt.” Walk around your house or your neighborhood and see how many different sources of light your child can find. After all, this is the season to celebrate light!
Have a flashlight freeze-dance party. Put on your favorite holiday music and dance with your flashlights. When someone pauses the music, freeze and shine the light on different spots: the ceiling, the floor, your feet, the doors, the windows…
Let’s have some Hanukkah music!
For younger kids: