Summer Craft for Kids: Paper Pinwheels!

Jeanne Sager

july 4 pinwheelBlowing pinwheels is second only to blowing bubbles on my list of favorite outdoor summer activities with my daughter.

They are good, clean fun, and they tend to use up energy -- always a good sign that a nap will happen today.

Until now we've stuck largely to the store-bought (aka Grandma-bought) toys, but children's author Jan Brett has a better idea. 

The crafty writer behind favorites like The Mitten has a great section of ideas for parents on her personal website, and I'm borrowing this one on make-your-own-pinwheels to try at home:

You'll need:

  • scissors
  • pencil
  • white construction paper
  • paper fastener
  • a straw
  • crayons, colored pencils, markers, or other supplies for decorating (stickers, watercolors, etc.)
  • pinwheel pattern
  1. Cut out the pattern on the SOLID lines only.
  2. Decorate both sides of the pinwheel any way you want -- let your kids get creative with their crayons, colored pencils, etc. I love these watercolor pinwheels from Se7en. And these cute July 4-themed ones at Wild Olive are season-appropriate!
  3. Cut along the dotted lines, but do NOT cut the center circle.
  4. Use the sharpened pencil to poke a hole through the four tiny dark circles. The pencil point also works well to poke a hole into the straw. Carefully push the pencil point through the straw about 1/2 inch from the top.
  5. Make the tiny holes on the four points meet at the center circle. 
  6. Push the ends of the paper fastener through the holes on the pinwheel, then push the fastener through the center circle. 
  7. Place the straw on the back side of your pinwheel and push the ends of the fastener through the hole in the straw. Open up the fastener by flattening the ends in opposite directions.


Do your kids dig pinwheels?

Image via Wild Olive

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