Tag Archives: kids videos Hanukkah

The Little Dreidel Song And Game

dreidel screensnap 2Love this song?  Add it to your Spotify, Apple Music playlist at the links below.

The winter months bring lots of exciting holiday preparations to almost every home. If you celebrate Hanukkah, it’s time to think about gathering with friends and family, making delicious foods such as latkes, lighting the menorah, and playing a game with a little spinning top. Even if your children are small, the sights, smells and sounds of this holiday will surely fill them with wonder and joy!

One of my favorite Hanukkah songs is heard all over the world. It starts with the words:

I have a little dreydl (or driedel),
I made it out of clay
And when it’s dry and ready
A dreydl I will play

The word dreydl (or dreidel) comes from the Yiddish word – dreyen – meaning to spin. It’s spelled several different ways because many Hebrew letters and sounds are not the same as in English, so people have attempted to write out words that capture the sounds in different ways. For that reason, you may see the word Hanukkah written as Chanukah, Chanukkah or Chanuka as well.

So, what about this pretty little top? The next verse of the song tells you how it is decorated:

dreidel screensnapMy dreydl has four corners
And a letter on each face
To remind us if the miracle
That long ago took place

Each one of the dreydl’s sides has a special letter.  More or less, they can be translated as:

Sham (or Shin)        There, (meaning it happened there in Israel)
Haya –(or Hay)          Happened
Gadol –(or Gimel)          Great
Nes- (or Nun)          Miracle

And what happens when you song and the top lands on one of the sides?  The song has a verse to explain that as well:

The letters also tell us
Who will lose or win
I have a pile of goodies (walnuts)
I’m ready, let’s begin

All players start with goodies such as candies, nuts or special money called Hanukkah gelt.  Then as they spin, each letter shows if you’ve won, lost or passed your turn.  Here’s what each letter means:

Nes- (or Nun)        Do nothing, pass your turn
Sham (or Shin)        Add one treat to the pot
Haya –(or Hay)          Get half the pot
Gadol –(or Gimel)        Get everything in the pot

Although this is a simple song, it really does conjure up holiday magic for young and old alike.  Whether you’re spinning tops or preparing a family feast, singing even the simplest of holiday songs is a beautiful way to celebrate a holiday like this with those you love!

Links And Resources

Listen to DARIA’s version free on Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/album/7Jl8awV8rWHIZzJbcudDaa
On Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ocho-candelikas/id344193347?i=344193424&ign-mpt=uo%3D6On Amazon mp3: http://amzn.com/B00302OL1E

Dreidel Song – Free Lyric Sheet – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreydl-Dreidel-Song-Lyric-Sheet-2214444

Free Dreydl Coloring Page – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dreidel-Coloring-Page-985694