Koala Coach

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Dreidel Dice: A Chanukah Learning Activity

Happy Chanukah! Did you know that simply playing with a four sided spinner top (dreidel) can allow you to easily reinforce almost ANY skill with your children in a fun stress-free way! 


How To Play Dreidel Dice:

1) The traditional game of dreidel is played ... except with an added Koala Coach learning twist. After each player spins the dreidel a question that reinforces a skill is asked:  See below for sample questions for ALL ages and skills.

If the player spins the dreidel and it lands on: 

  • a) If נ‎ (nun) is facing up, the player does nothing. No question is asked and nothing happens to their playing pieces.  
  • b) If ג‎ (gimel) is facing up, The player is asked a question, if the player answers correctly then the player gets everything in the pot.
  • c) If ה‎ (hei) is facing up, The player is asked a question, if the player answers correctly then the player gets half of the pieces in the pot. (If there are an odd number of pieces in the pot, the player takes the half the pot rounded up to the nearest whole number)
  • d) If ש‎ (shin) or פ‎ (pe) is facing up, the player adds a game piece to the pot, but the player gets to ask the other players a question!  

2) Here is a link for more information on traditional dreidel play or read this quick start guide: Give each player a fixed number of pennies, chocolate Chanukah gelt coins or counters. Before each round, each player places at least one of their  pieces into the communal pot. Each player takes turns spinning the four sided dreidel. The dreidel will land on one of the four sides and then players will add or subtract from their personal stash of playing pieces based on the Hebrew letter that the dreidel lands on. See above for a helpful chart.



Think about the skills your child should be reviewing. You can stay on one topic, such as multiplication facts, or bounce around to different topics. The Dreidel Dice game also allows a parent to work on all different skills with multiple children at the same time. Simply ask a question after the player spins the dreidel.



PRESCHOOL - After a spin of the dreidel, you could ask your preschooler to count all of the pieces in the communal pot. Or challenge the preschool player to figure out who has the most dreidel playing pieces and who has the least.

LOWER ELEMENTARY - After this player spins, ask addition or subtraction fact problems, or ask this player to count to a hundred by 2s, or ask the player to add up all the pieces in the game.

UPPER ELEMENTARY - After a spin, ask this player to review multiplication and division facts, or square roots, problems that have negative numbers as the answer, or large addition problems in their head: 365 + 415.



PRESCHOOL - After a spin, ask this player to identify letters, or challenge this player to generate rhyming words:  Can you find a word that rhymes with dreidel? 

 LOWER ELEMENTARY- Give this player sight words to read or have them read one page out loud from a book that is on their level. 

(Note to parents of avid readers: Often when parents have a child that easily reads independently, they trust that the child is reading every word correctly. Dreidel Dice is a low stress method to check in and hear how your child's reading sounds.)

UPPER ELEMENTARY - Give this player vocabulary words to define after a spin. Here is a list of 100 SAT words. 



PRESCHOOL  - After a spin this child could be asked to write letters on paper or in the air.

LOWER ELEMENTARY - This is a great time to practice the spelling words from school, or any commonly misspelled words.

UPPER ELEMENTARY - This child could be asked to generate nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, adverbs, conjunctions or other parts of speech.


Dreidel Dice is a game that reinforces learning in a fun way. It's fun for children to play dreidel. It's really fun for children when their parents play dreidel with them. It's not so fun for anyone to review spelling words or math facts, but children will hardly notice when they are reviewing at the same time as playing dreidel!