The one thing that makes Jewish holidays different from others is that everyone is included – from the grandparents to the youngest kids. There is a wide range of activities and games that are played during specific holidays, and although they might look simple, kids enjoy engaging in them quite a lot.
If you are looking for some traditional games that you can choose for the holiday season or if you want to gift a Jewish family some traditional pastimes, this article might be helpful for you. The text below will feature some of the most popular games that you can get. Let’s take a closer look at the list:
1. “The Three Sticks” – Various Holidays and Events
One of the favorite things children like about games is them having a possibility of showing off in front of their family members and friends – and this is exactly what this one can provide kids. Three Sticks is perhaps one of the most popular schoolyard pastimes that children all over the globe love.
The objective of it is to jump between three sticks that are placed on the ground and each time, they spread more and more from one another. The participants should not touch the sticks and they cannot also step more than once in the spaces that were created between each stick.
2. “The Dreidel” – Which is Also The Most Popular Game in Jewish Culture
If you know anything about Jewish culture, you probably also know about Dreidel being the most popular entertainment during this holiday. It is, of course, usually played by children, especially during the Hanukkah period. Hanukkah is a holiday that lasts 8 days and it celebrates the wonder that happened during the rededication of the Second Temple.
The miracle was that a small amount of oil that was meant to last for only one day, fired a lamp for eight days straight. Hence, the dreidel is used during this specific holiday in order for the Jewish people to remember their history, hardships, and traditions. It is played by the players taking turns spinning the dreidel – which resembles a spin top.
Each side features one letter of the Hebrew alphabet and this is what indicates what action the kids need to perform. The four inscribed letters stand for “nun”, “sin”, “hey”, and “gimel”. When it starts, chocolates or coins are placed inside a bowl from which the player either takes or returns the coins during the match.
If it falls on the letter “nun”, the player does not have to do anything, however, if it falls on “gimel”, the player should take all coins from the bowl. If it falls on “hey”, the kid should only take half of the loot, while “sin” indicates that the players need to add one coin to the bowl.
Now, this game is not only fun to play, but it also teaches children about earning, taking, and giving money, hence, they can also learn that they can lose everything and gain it again during their life. When they play the game, they also learn about their people’s history and culture, as well as some Hebrew letters.
3. “Search For The Afikomen” – Played During Passover
During the Passover period, all Jewish families eat bread often referred to as matzo. During the dinner party, guests take part in a ceremony named a seder, which uses 3 parts of matzo. One of the parts is broken in two and wrapped in a piece of paper or napkin. This bread piece is called an afikomen and it is hidden in the house.
The children attending the dinner need to find it and whoever finds it first gets a reward such as candy or some cash. If you are planning on giving these traditional games to someone, you might want to pack them in a traditional bag – and if you want to see what traditional bags you can opt for, click here.
4. “Haman’s Gragger” – Played During Purim
During a holiday called Purim, kids are taught about a naughty man that loves causing trouble, Haman. Haman who used to wear a hat with three points caused so much trouble that the families use him as a learning point every single year. When people used to hear the name “Haman”, they used to make as much noise as they can to drain it out from their heads.
These events lead to them creating a toy that makes a lot of noise and ruckus that kids love using during this holiday. Now, if you are thinking about buying this toy, you should know that it comes in various sizes, designs, colors, and shapes. Some are even decorated with the mischievous man as well! Hence, you will have a lot of options to choose from.
5. “Now You Can See It” – A Candle Game
For a fun night filled with laughs, you can play this interesting candle game. Right after your holiday menorah is lit, one of the family members needs to go to a different room, where they will stack various holiday items. Next, they should turn off the light, light a candle, and invite the rest of their family members into the room.
The family members need to carefully observe the stacked things. The person who was in charge of stacking the items should then blow out the candle, remove one item, and light the candle again. The family member who sees what is missing wins the round. The contest is finished when there are no items left, and the score is calculated by who guessed the most missing items.
There is one thing that you should keep in mind though – this game does require lighting and blowing out the candle, hence, it is best if it played in the presence of an adult. Additionally, you should not allow children to hold the candle or blow it out, especially since they might get burnt by accident.
Whether you are looking for a gift or want to purchase a game for your children, there is a wide range of traditional Jewish games that you can opt for. So, now that you know what you can choose, do not waste any more time. Instead, start thinking about what you should get right away!