Hanukkah Games for Children

Dreidel Pop
Print dreidel symbols on small pieces of paper. Fold so that symbol does not show. Blow up two or more blue and white balloons per child. Place one piece of paper inside each balloon. Divide children into groups of four to six and give each child five chocolate coins, candies, or counters.

Have each group of children sit in a circle and place balloons in the center. At the start of each round, children contribute one candy or counter to the pot. Children then take turns popping balloons, unwrapping paper, and following the directions. When no candies or counters remain, children each contribute another to the pot, and play resumes.

The winner is the child with the most candies or counters after all balloons have been popped.

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Latke Toss
Cut latke shapes out of flannel or mold them out of lightweight clay. Divide children into two teams. Place a small table in front of each team, place a frying pan on each table, and place a latke in each frying pan. Children must run up, grab the handle of the pan, use the pan to toss the latke up into the air and catch it, then run back and tag the next person in line.

The first team to complete the relay wins.

As a variation, mark the top and bottom of the latkes. Require students to toss the latke high enough to flip it over before running back to their line.

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Pin the Candle on the Menorah
Draw and laminate a large menorah. Paste on wall. Cut and laminate candles in various colors. Blindfold children, spin them around, then direct them to try to stick the candle (pretaped with double-sided tape) on the menorah. Give a prize to the child who comes the closest.

For team play, cut and laminate eight or more candles (one per player) in two or more colors. Assign each team a color. Play as above, but declare the winning team to be the team that gets the most candles on the menorah.

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Spin the Dreidel
Purchase or make one dreidel for each group of four to six children. Divide children into groups. Give each child two dozen chocolate coins or other candies.

To begin, each child places one candy in a central pile (the "pot"). Children then take turns spinning the dreidel and contributing or collecting items based on the letter facing up when the dreidel falls. If one or no candies remain in the pot, players must all add a candy to continue.

At the end of play, the player with the most candies wins.
Nun - Do nothing.
Gimmel - Take everything in the pot.
Hey - Take half the pot.
Shin - Add one candy to the pot.

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