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  • Writer's pictureReading Time with the Queens

December 2023 - Dreidel (Out of Clay)

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Do you know the classic Hanukkah song "I Have a Little Dreidel"? It goes:

I have a little dreidel. I made it out of clay.

And when it's dry and ready, then dreidel I shall play.

Would you believe that we are doing exactly that for Craft Corner this month?! As part of our Hanukkah festivities, we are using clay (for the first time) to make our own Dreidel! Then, we will paint it, let it dry, and play the classic dreidel game! This is a great way to learn sculpting and painting skills. As a bonus, you'll learn four letters from the Hebrew alphabet: נ‎ Nun, ג‎ Gimmel, ה Hay, and ש‎ Shin!

🕎 Dreidel (Out of Clay) 🕎

This craft was inspired by a guide from Crayola.


🕯 Air-Dry Clay

🕯 Washable Paint

🕯 Paintbrush

🕯 Toothpick

🕯 Parchment Paper


1. Grab a small portion of clay. It should fit in your palm. Use your hands to roll it into a smooth lump.

2. Use your pointer fingers and thumbs to flatten the sides of the lump of clay. You should aim for four separate sides. Pinch one edge of the clay to a point. The other edge should be flat. Pay close attention to the pictures as a guide.

3. Gather a small bit of clay for the handle. It should be wide enough to stick to the flat edge of the dreidel. It should be tall enough for you to hold with your thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger. Stick and press the handle to the top. Use water to smooth the edges of the connection of the handle to the dreidel. The side of your toothpick is a great tool for smoothing that connection.

4. It is now time to carefully etch the letters into the sides of the dreidel. Avoid dragging the toothpick along the clay like you would write with a pencil. Use your toothpick to slowly poke into the soft clay. This will keep the letters looking crisp.

Here is a neat guide on the letters of a dreidel. נ‎ Nun ג‎ Gimmel ה Hay ש‎ Shin

5. Let the dreidel dry on parchment paper for 48 hours. Remember to turn it over once during that time.

6. Test to make sure the dreidel is dry by spinning it like a top. Don't worry if your dreidel doesn't spin well, it is supposed to fall over. (Unless you are Tizzy the Dizzy Dreidel!)

Use the paintbrush to paint each side of the dreidel. Be careful not to paint inside the letters so that they are still legible. You might need to do a couple of coats. Make sure you wash your paintbrush between coats. Let your dreidel dry for one hour.

Now your dreidel is done and ready for a game! Not sure how to play? We've got you covered!

- Each person starts with the same amount of gelt (a chocolate coin).

- Each person contributes two pieces of gelt to the pot.

- Each person takes a turn spinning the dreidel. You must follow the instruction for the letter that the dreidel reveals once it falls:

ש Shin - Add One

ה Hay - Take Half ג Gimmel - Take All נ Nun - Take Nothing

- After each player spins the dreidel, begin a new round by putting a new piece of gelt into the pot.

- If someone rolls a Gimmel, they take the all of the gelt in the pot! To start another round, each person once again contributes two pieces of gelt.

- The game is over once one person has won all of the gelt! (Remember, it is kind to share your gelt, even if you’ve won.)

Dreidels help us remember the phrase "Nes Gadol Ha'ya Sham." This means "A Great Miracle Happened There." During Hanukkah, we remember the miracle of the oil that lasted for eight nights. We also look for miracles that happen around us every day. May your dreidel out of clay bring you joy, fun, friendship, and wonder during this holiday season!


We hope to see you at our program this Saturday, December 9th, in Idaho Falls and Pocatello.


We will be at Winnie & Mo’s, 343 A St, starting at 10:30am.


We will be at Discovery Dance School, 310 E Clark St, starting at 1:30pm.

The space is ADA compliant. You may park in the parking lot either in front of or behind the studio.

NOTICE: To protect the performers and participants in our program from COVID-19, we will be highly encouraging the use of medical masks during the program. We will provide KN95 masks for those that do not have their own.

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