Dreidel – The Preschool Version
Before you begin teaching your kids the rules of the dreidel game, it’s important to explain the background of the game. Tell the kids that a long time ago, the Greeks tried to stop Jewish children from learning about being Jewish. They threatened them, and told them that they weren’t allowed to learn the Torah anymore.
But the Jewish children were brave. Their teachers took them into hidden caves to learn Torah with them and teach them about being Jewish. If the Greeks would come and find them, the kids would immediately take out their little spinning dreidels and begin to play a game. In that way, the Greeks would think that the kids were just playing a game in the cave instead of learning about being Jewish. That’s how the kids were saved!
To play a simplified version of the dreidel game, tell your preschooler the following rules:
Gimel – Take two coins from the other player.
Heh – Take one coin from the other player.
Nun – Do nothing.
Shin – Give two coins to the other player.
Have each player start with ten coins, and take turns spinning the dreidel and responding accordingly. This game is more fast-paced than the original version, although the rules mirror the original rules.