Dreidel is everyone's favorite Chanukah game involving a four-sided top with Hebrew letters on the sides. Really, what's not to like?
While there are a few variants on the rules, playing dreidel is fairly predictable. The pot never gets too big because someone cleans it out every few turns by getting a Gimmel. The game tends to go on forever without anyone gaining a decisive lead. Eventually, people start eating their chocolate gelt until there aren't enough pieces left to wager. Ho hum.
Players in "The Dreidel Game" take turns, spinning the dreidel and moving around the board accordingly. It's a cooperative game in which everyone works together to light all of the candles in the menorah. (I don't actually light the candles with fire. Just putting a candle into one of the holders on the menorah means that it is "lit.") When all the candles are in place, the game is over and everyone wins.
The game works well in my family because my daughters don't like competitive games with "losers." It might also be more interesting than the traditional dreidel game, especially for older kids and adults, and it gives everyone a chance to hear and tell the Chanukah story and to think about miracles in their lives.
This is my Chanukah gift to you for the fourth night. You're welcome to give it a try tonight or any time you want. It's helpful to print the board in the largest format your printer will allow, or enlarge it on a color photocopier. Let me know if you like it.