April 23, 2013

Pinwheels and Tinker Toys

Pinwheels and Tinker Toys

This homemade pinwheel was made from red scrap book paper, paint, and Tinker Toys. It took two days to construct: one day for printing and the second day for putting the pinwheel together. I used Tinker Toys to make the pinwheel toddler safe.


We have a wind spinner outside our front door. Calvin loves to spin it by hand. Faster and faster it goes. He gets so engrossed, we can't hardly get him to come in the house. I thought he'd like making his own pinwheel.

  • I cut a piece of red scrap book paper into a 7 inch square.  I set the square in front of Calvin along with some yellow tempera paint, a 'hello' stamp, and the lid from an empty bottle of hairspray.

  • I was going to remind Calvin how to print, but he didn't need help.  He immediately picked up the 'hello' stamp, stuck it in the paint, and began to print on the paper.  Wow!  Way to go, Calvin! 

  • Once the paper had been printed to Calvin's satisfaction, I set it aside to dry. The next day I constructed the pinwheel:

  • I drew two diagonal lines on the back of the printed paper, corner to corner forming a big X.
  • I measured 1.5 inches from the center of the X and made a mark on all four lines.
  • I cut along each line to the 1.5 inch mark.
  • I cut a hole the size of a nickel in every other corner of the pinwheel and in the center of the big X.

  • I folded the corners with the holes in toward the center.   I was careful to line up all holes with the center hole.  (The corners without holes remain unfolded.)
  • I glued the holes stacked one upon another.

  • The next time Calvin came over, we put the Tinker Toys together and attached the pinwheel.

  • He had so much fun making the pinwheel spin.

Extend the Activity:

Here are some alternative ways to make a pinwheel.

  • organize and decorate everything has a post entitled Making Pin Wheels With the Kids  It uses a straight pin a pencil instead of Tinker toys to construct the pinwheel, which makes it good for older kids.

Do you have a comment or a suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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