“Spinning” Paper Dreidel

Create a dreidel that “spins” but won’t fall down!

dreidels

My daughter came home from school excited to tell me about the dreidel she painted in school. She ran to her bag to show it to me…and of course it had not yet been sent home! This caused many tears, so we had to do a dreidel project at home to make for it.

This project requires a some adult cutting and measuring, but a whole lot of post-project playing! It also uses one my favorite supplies, paper fasteners. I always liked the idea of a paper fastener, but never had the good fortune to own my very own box. I had my husband gift me a box for this project.

The basic idea here is simple. Cut out a paper dreidel with a window, and then attach a spinning wheel to simulate the spinning of a dreidel. We used card stock rather than regular paper because I thought it would hold up better. If you don’t have that, I would suggest construction paper, but really any paper will do.

kids-coloring

You can draw your own dreidel and wheel, or for your convenience, you can download the  dreidel template and just print it out. I give detailed directions about how to measure yours below. As you can see in the picture, ours ended up with a small amount of space in the window because were doing this on the fly. For the template, I enlarged the wheel so it should cover the full window.

“Spinning” Paper Dreidel

Time:
Active: 15 minutes

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Paper (card stock or construction paper ideal, but really anything will do)
Paper fastener
Crayons, markers, or decorating tools of your choice

Process:

Cut a out a dreidel shape from a piece of paper. You can print my dreidel template or draw one yourself. This part sounds complicated, but it’s really fairly simple. If you don’t care too much about having it perfectly even, feel free to just eyeball the measurements.

Here is how I did it.
1. Find the center of your page and mark it.
2. Make a diagonal line from that mark to a point on the side of the page.
3. Using a ruler, measure straight across from the top point where the line hit the side of the page and mark it.
4. Make a second diagonal line from the center mark to your new mark. This ensures the 2 bottom lines are even.
5. For the dreidel handle, put your ruler across the width of the whole page, positioning it at the top of the page. Mark at 3″ and 5.5″. Draw a 2″ line down from each of those marks.
6. Cut out the squares on the top of the page, and the triangles on the bottom.
Perfect dreidel!

Cut out a window from your dreidel. Decide where you want your spinner to be and make a pie-shaped wedge cut out, approximately a quarter of your circle but with a slightly smaller diameter. I made my pie shape by tracing the circle on the back of the dreidel, and then making an “x” through the circle. The top quarter became the pie shape I cut out. and  I made the template 3″, the picture shown has a 2.25″ width but I think the slightly bigger size would be better.

Have your kids decorate the dreidel. We kept it simple with just markers.

Make the wheel. Cut out a circle .5″ bigger than the diameter of your window. The template is 3.5″. Add a Nun, Gimel, Hey and Shin, rotating the circle so each letter is upright in it’s quadrant. I didn’t have the kids color the wheel because I thought it would be hard to read if it was scribbled on.

Attached the wheel at the base of the window with a paper fastener. I used a push pin to start the hole and poked myself in the finger, so be careful when poking, especially if you are using heavier paper!

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Nature Menorah

Combine Chanukah with the end of fall for a nature walk and project in one!

done

Once Rosh Chodesh Kislev arrives, Chanukah is in the air! We did our first Chanukah project today. It combined Chanukah and fall. We went out on a walk to collect leaves and sticks. We snagged a beautiful red one right outside of the shul on our way home from a morning program there to get us started. Once we got home, we combed our yard and block. Our neighbor had a tree with perfect, small red leaves but other than that, it was slim pickings. We did out best to find a variety of shapes and colors that were not crumbled or wet and found some thin sticks as well. It was freezing so we worked quickly. We did manage to collect more than enough for each girl in a variety of shapes and colors.

leaves

After a lunch break, the kids broke the sticks into small pieces and arranged them on the paper.

arrange-sticks

We then painted the sticks. While the sticks were drying, the kids kept painting – both on paper and paper towels!

painting

paitned-sticks

This passed the time until the sticks were dry enough to glue down. We used the leaves to act as the flames of our menorah.

done2

The kids were proud of their projects! They really enjoyed combining fall with Chanukah.

Nature Menorah

Time:
Nature walk: 10 minutes, because it was freezing. If it’s warmer where you are, take your time and have fun with it!
Active: 20 minutes
Drying: 15 minutes+

Age: 2-7

Materials:
Sticks and leaves
Paint
Paper
Glue

Process:

Collect sticks and leaves. Try to find straight sticks that will adhere to the paper without popping up in the middle. Moister leaves work better than brittle ones.  A variety of shapes and colors will really make the menorah come alive!

Break the sticks into smaller pieces and arranged them on your page. Then painted the sticks. I put a piece of scrap paper underneath the sticks to protect the table while the kids painted. The kids then painted each stick.

Let sticks dry.  Glue down the sticks onto a clean sheet of paper in the shape of a menorah. Put the shamash wherever you want – center or end is traditional but anything goes.

Have each kid pick out 9 leaves from the collection we had amassed and arrange them on their menorah to represent the flames. Use a variety of sizes to get them all the fit. Once you have then arranged to your satisfaction, glue them down. It probably would be nice to put some heavy books on top of them as they dry to help the leaves stick better, but it’s not necessary.

Alternately, press the leaves by putting the between wax paper until Chanukah. Glue on one leaf each night!

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Welcome

Welcome to Jewish Kids Create. My two young daughter love doing craft projects and I am always looking out for craft ideas. They especially love Jewish themed projects that tie in to the season or Jewish idea they have been learning about in school. But finding just the right one can be challenging.

My criterion for a great project:

  1. Age appropriate: Three year olds can only do so much. If the directions involve a lot of cutting (especially in a specific shape), folding, or other specific tasks, then I am likely to pass it by. The point of doing a craft with kids is that they get creative, rather than have Mommy do 95% of the work while they watch.
  2. Time: Sometimes you want a quick project,sometimes you are looking to fill a winter afternoon. While kids don’t necessarily want to sit for hours, if they themselves are doing the craft rather than watching you cut out 50 circles, they will a more willing to spend the time. And of course play with the finished results!
  3. Wait Time: Does this project involve steps like “Paint the circle brown. Wait 2 hours for it to dry.”? Because I most likely will pass that by. That type of thing works in a school setting where you have short periods of time over multiple days to do the project. At home, kids want to be able to complete the project all at once and use it ideally right away. Not to rule out any paint or glue, but too long of a wait can be  killer.
  4. Supplies: Does it require some kind of supply that I am unlikely to have at home? Especially here in Bergen county where stores are closed on Sundays, I have no desire to run out to the store for an obscure material where there is plenty to be done with what we already have around the house.
  5. Meaning: There are times when it’s fun to just scribble, but I do like to introduce Jewish themed crafts. It really excites the kids to explore the Jewish season we are currently in, whether it’s a holiday, parsha or mitzvah. Here on Jewish Kids Create, I will mostly leave Parsha crafts for the Morah at school, who already does an excellent job. We will focus here on more seasonal ideas.

On Jewish Kids Create, I plan to post a variety of crafts, and will mark them with suggested ages, how long it should take, and whether it’s a “finish now” or “requires a wait” type of project. All the projects will also be posted on facebook, so like our page to be notified when something new is up. I would love to see pictures if you and your kids do one of our projects! Post them on our facebook page so we can all admire them!