Spinning Pinwheels

by Deb on August 13, 2010

Spinning Pinwheels

We’ve been playing with pinwheels for a little while now testing different sizes, papers and shapes.  They are interesting for all ages, very easy to make and good for preschoolers to practice cutting and fine co-ordination but they are also a great homemade toy for even the littlest babies.


pinwheel pattern

Simply a square with four lines that don’t reach all the way to the centre.  The dots are to remind you which corner to fold in.

Making them:

  1. Make sure your paper is a square.  making a square
  2. Decorate both sides if you want.
  3. Cut the diagonal lines, make sure you don’t get too close to the centre.
  4. Fold the marked corners in to the middle.  We found it helped to glue them but you don’t have to.
  5. We used a pearl-headed pin through the middle and held that, for a more permanent one I would gently hammer it into some dowel.  We found split pins didn’t turn very well, if you had the right size hole they could work. spinning them outside

Ideas to test:

  • Different papers or even things like acetate.
  • Different sizes.
  • Different numbers of blades or different shapes.  The one with six blades was made from a circle, you could try triangles, pentagons or hexagons too.
  • Getting them to spin in different ways.  Outside in the wind, walking around, blowing on them from different angles.
  • Use them as windmills in pretend play, you could even discuss what windmills do!
  • Use them as a fun wind gauge.
  • Just run around and have fun 🙂

For babies:

These are great even for very little babies because they combine bright colours and movement, two things babies love watching.  Make up one or more using black and white designs, bright primary colours, or using glitter, cellophane or alfoil to make it shine.  Put them onto a dowel or ruler and you have a fantastic mobile to use outside, on a pram or to carry around.

This post is part of the We Play linkup at Childhood 101.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Narelle August 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

I was just thinking about doing this with the kids the other day! Thanks for the reminder 🙂


Ash August 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I haven’t made these for ages! Will points out some at shop that we pass by so he’ll be very exciting to be making his own! Thanks!


amandab August 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Like Narelle, I keep seeing these around in the blogosphere and keep thinking we must do them. One day soon …. 🙂


Julie August 17, 2010 at 8:50 pm

I love the different ideas you included (different shapes etc). Definitely something to try in future.


Martianne August 18, 2010 at 9:36 am

Time tested fun! I loved making these as a child, yet have not made them with my own. I will have to. Thanks for the reminder.


Kelly Be A Fun Mum August 18, 2010 at 9:52 am

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SenseiMattKlein August 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Wish I knew how to make these as a kid–we had to settle for the store-bought version. Used to love pinwheels anyway.
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