Remember the last 4th of July party? Little Jack almost burnt down the neighbor’s house with his homemade fireworks and everyone forgot about little Emma until a tired but good-willed Uncle Sam chased her back from the other end of the parade. This year keep your kids happy and entertained by helping them create their own 4th of July pinwheels.
They can use recycled gift-wrap, print their own designs using potato stamps or use Meyamo’s 4th of July inspired patterns. The long wait for the fireworks will be a whirl!
Step 1: Print the pinwheel template you want to use. You can print it or trace it using newspaper, magazines or used wrapping paper*. You can also draw and paint over a blank template or print Meyamos’s 4th of July inspired patterned templates.
*Do not use card stock or heavy paper stock because your pinwheel might not turn so well.
Step 2: If you use recycled paper, place the pinwheel template on the recycled paper and cut together along the dotted line. If you use one of Meyamos’s 4th of July inspired patterned templates, just cut along the dotted line.
Step 3: Take the outer points of the template (5 all together) and glue them to the center of the pinwheel one at a time (best results when using a glue stick).
Step 4: Stick a pin through the center of the pinwheel to make a hole, making sure it goes through all five points. Roll the pin around in little circles to enlarge the hole a little. This is to make sure your pinwheel spins freely.
Step 5. Assemble the pinwheel: First stick a pin* or thin wire through a button, piece of paper or small seed, then stick it through the hole at the center of the pinwheel, then through 2 or 3 buttons (or seeds or anything that will separate the pinwheel from the stick), and finally attach it to a wooden stick, skewer or straw.
*If you use a pin you need to make sure to bend the sharp end with a pair of pliers.
Other decorating ideas:
1. Give your pinwheel a comet’s tail: Cut a rectangle-shaped paper into ¼ inch-wide strips, stopping just short of the top. Next, fold the paper in half and then attach it to the back of the pinwheel’s stick.
2. Decorate your pinwheel using a potato stamp: Cut a potato in half and draw a star, or any shape you like, on its flat side. Carve out the excess shape around the star with a sharp knife (adults only!). You can now dip the potato in paint* and stamp as many stars as you like.
*Thick paint works best, runny paint might wrinkle the paper.
3. Decorate the wooden stick with a ribbon: Attach the ribbon to the back of the assembled pinwheel, then roll and glue it down until you get to the end of the stick.
Happy 4th of July. Have a whirl!