Sunday, June 22, 2008

Patriotic Pinwheels

Pinwheels. These are so easy to make you will slap your hand to your forehead for buying the ones in the store.

I did this activity with my 4.5 year old but he was more interested in constructing other things with the fancy paper scissors. A more goal focused 4 year old would like this and the 5-10 year old set would love this.

Ingredients needed: 12"x12" scrapbook paper, scissors, pin (a sewing pin or a long push pin), small craft beads, "fun" foam, pencil eraser or a wine cork (yeah, I know) and a straw.

How to:

1. Cut the 12"x12" piece of paper into (4) 6"x6" pieces. You now have paper for either 4 pinwheels or 2 pinwheels with decorative paper on both sides. If you want the decorative paper on both sides, glue 2 of the pieces together (blank sides together).

2. If you opted for the 4 piece with blank side and decorative side, do something to jazz up the blank side like writing something on the inside. For my patriotic pinwheels I wrote up the Gettysburg Address on a few and the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution and part of the Declaration of Independence on another. This would be a good way to get your child to study and read documents like this...make them copy it, it's bound to stick, right?

3. Fold the paper in half both ways (length and width) to mark the center.

4. Use a screw top from a water bottle to make a circle at the center of the paper.

5. Cut diagonally from each corner to the edge of the circle (4 cuts); this is where I like to use the cool patterned type paper scissors.

6. Take the sewing pin and put it through a small piece of foam, then through one small bead.

7. When you cut your paper you ended up with four triangles connected to the circle. Take ONE corner from each triangle and put the pin through the corner. If you use the left corner, use the left corner from all of the triangles.

8. Now that you have all of the corners pinned, put the pin through the center of the paper and you should now have something that looks like a pinwheel.

9. Put the pin through another bead and then through the straw and then sink it into a pencil eraser cut off from a pencil or a piece of cork from last night's wine bottle (the goal here is to keep the pin from poking you as you play with the pinwheel).

10. Now you have a pinwheel. If you want the pinwheel longer, put a long 14" lollipop stick (craft store) or a match (yeah, cut off the red strike area) through the straw.

You could embellish the whole thing by tying ribbon around the handle etc.

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