How to Make Pinwheels & Spinners

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Pinwheels and spinners are easy toys to teach a child to make.They can be used to teach a child how wind affects an object. Both are very simple projects that can be completed in a manner of minutes with items you probably already have in your house. Even better, they can entertain a child long after they've been completed.

Things You'll Need

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or pen
  • Ruler
  • Brad pin (paper fastener)
  • Straw
  • Paper clip

Pinwheels

  • Cut out a square piece of paper. Draw two straight lines across the piece of paper from one corner to another, so that the lines form an X across the square.

  • Decorate the piece of paper, if you'd like, with markers, crayons or another decoration. Don't add anything heavy to it, though.

  • Make four cuts along the lines you've drawn, starting from each corner and cutting toward the middle. Stop cutting when you're about a quarter-inch from the center. This produces two angular flaps at each corner.

  • Use your pencil or pen to make a small hole in the left flap at each corner.

  • Fold down each flap you've made a hole in so the four holes meet at the center. Do not crease the paper; let it stick out so you're forming four rounded pockets.

  • Push your brad (paper fastener) through the center.

  • Use your pen or pencil to make a hole in the straw about half-inch from the top. Push the brad through that hole. Fold down the brad's ends.

  • Blow into the pinwheel's pockets to make sure it spins.

Spinners

  • Cut a strip of paper 6.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.

  • Make a 3-inch long cut down the center of the paper, starting from the top.

  • Fold down in opposite directions the two flaps of paper your cut created.

  • Attach a paper clip to the bottom of the paper to add weight.

  • Hold the spinner from the bottom with the two wings pointing up. Drop the spinner, so it will twirl to the ground.

Tips & Warnings

  • Both pinwheels and spinners will be easier to make if you use heavier or thicker paper.
  • If you're having trouble poking a sharpened pencil through a drinking straw for a pinwheel, use a needle or pin instead.
  • If the paper clip doesn't add enough weight to your spinner, wrap some tape around the strip of paper on top of the paper clip.

References

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