Make a pinwheel: A popular toy through the centuries

Jamestown (Jamestown, Virginia)Jamestown-Yorktown FoundationJamestown SettlementAmerican Revolutionary War (1775-1783)

Did you know that pinwheels, made from wood, paper or other materials, have been played with by kids for hundreds of years? Pinwheels were certainly familiar to children of Jamestown in the 1600s and Yorktown during the American Revolution. Make your own and join in the fun with these directions, courtesy the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation:

Materials:

Pencil or pen

Unsharpened pencil with an eraser

Ruler

Square piece of paper, 5-inches on each side

Crayons or markers to decorate the paper

Scissors

Glue stick

Straight pin with ball or pearl top (1-inch pin works best)

Small plastic bead

Larger bead, about ½ inch in diameter

Decorations (stickers, glitter)

Directions:

First, lightly color the 5-inch square of paper on both sides with any design you like.

Use the ruler and pencil or pen to draw a line from the top right corner of the paper to the lower left corner. Then draw another line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of the paper. The center of the paper is where the two lines cross.

Now use the ruler to measure ¾ inch from the center of the paper, along each line. Using a pencil or pen, mark the lines at ¾ inch from the center.

Starting at each corner, cut along each of the four lines toward the center, and stop cutting when you reach the marks you just made.

Use the glue stick to put a spot of glue in the center of the paper. Now fold a corner to the center, and hold it until it sticks. Then fold the next corner in, and glue it to the center too. Each corner will overlap the others a little. Continue with the other two corners until all four are glued to the center.

Now slip the small plastic bead onto the straight pin, and stick the pin through the center of the pinwheel. Be careful not to stick your finger. For safety, you may need to ask a grown-up for help.

On the back of the pinwheel, slip the larger bead onto the pin. Stick the pin into the eraser of the unsharpened pencil. For safety, make sure you hold the pencil down on a hard surface when you push the pin through. Be sure not to let the pin point come all the way through the eraser.

Now you can add stickers, glitter or whatever decorations you want. Or, experiment with different color schemes on the front and back.

Blow and watch the colors spin!

Source: Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a Virginia agency that operates Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center history museums. www.historyisfun.org

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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