Hanukkah Books and Activities

Hanukkah Books and Activities

Celebrate the festival of lights with a great book and games.

With the dazzle of electric lights it's easy to over look the gentle light of the Hanukkah candles. Help your patrons to connect with this holiday with a fun book and game.

Sammy Spider's First Hanukkah
From his web on the Shapiro's ceiling, Sammy Spider enjoys the family's Hanukkah traditions. Colorful illustrations (by Katherine Janus Kahn) make this a visually appealing story. Sylvia A. Rouss has written a wonderful story that is an excellent introduction to the concepts and experience of Hanukkah.

Spiders spin webs, and children can spin driedels. Have your patrons make a simple driedel using a sheet of poster board and a pencil. Precut 4"x4" squares of poster board, draw lines from corner to corner, creating four triangles. Punch a hole in the center. Patrons can color the triangles red, orange, yellow, and green. Decide which letter each color stands for (you can also make this dreidel). Then carefully push a pencil through the center of the paper.

Observe the colors of the driedels as they spin. Review the rules of the driedel game.

Driedel Game

  • 1 driedel spinner
  • 10 game pieces, such as beans or counters, per patron


  1. Players sit in a circle on an uncarpeted area of the floor or gather around a desk or a table.
  2. Each player puts one game piece in the center of the circle to make a pot.
  3. Each player, in turn, spins the driedel. When the spinner stops, he notes what the color is facing up and the letter it stands for, then he follows the corresponding direction (see below).
  4. If only one game piece (or none) is left in the pot after a turn, each player adds one game piece to the pot.
  5. Play continues until one player has all of the game pieces, and he is declared the winner.

Game Rules

  • Hey--Take half of the pot. If there is an odd number of game pieces, talf and one more.
  • Gimmel--Take all of the pot.
  • Nun--Do nothing. Pass the driedel to the next player.
  • Shin--Put two game pieces in the pot.

Support This Site

You Should Also Read:
Jewish Holidays

Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Paula Laurita. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Paula Laurita. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Christine Sharbrough for details.