Category: 

What is a Pinwheel?

Construction paper is one of the materials sometimes used to make pinwheels.
Article Details
  • Written By: Y. Chen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The oldest known tortoise is 182 years old, and is believed by scientists to be the oldest living land creature.  more...

November 23 ,  1936 :  The modern version of "Life" magazine published its firs  more...

A pinwheel is a classic child's toy that looks like a small wheel attached to a handle. The most basic way of making them is pinning a piece of folded paper to the end of a stick. When the contraption is held up into the wind, the folded paper will spin. Nowadays, pinwheels come in a variety of color combinations, sizes, and materials. Retailers sell them at very cheap prices and they are often bought as party favors or appear on fashion accessories.

Children are often taught how to make a pinwheel in school, but instructions can also be found in craft books and on the Internet. It requires only a few minutes and simple materials to create, making them an ideal recreational project. Once completed, the pinwheel can provide simple and quiet amusement for children. The pinwheel can either be blown on or held up to the wind in order to spin.

The materials needed to assemble a simple pinwheel include a pin, a piece of square construction paper, a pair of scissors, and something for a handle. This can be a straw or any stick that a pin can puncture through. Then follow the instructions below:

Ad

Besides using paper for pinwheel material, toy manufacturers have found ways to construct blades out of other materials like metallic film and transparent plastic, usually polycarbonate. These variations make the pinwheel lighter and sturdier, respectively. In addition, the blades of the pinwheel can be treated to have a holographic or translucent design. Instead of the handheld prototype, some toy makers have also been pushing limits into making gigantic pinwheels, which can be used for outdoor decor.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

browncoat
Post 4

Pinwheels are a great way to teach students about angles and different geometric shapes. Find some pinwheel templates online and ask the students to find the best angles for catching the wind.

You don't just have to use squares. You can make pinwheels out of lots of different shapes.

You could even hold competitions for the students to see who can come up with the pinwheel that catches the wind the best. This teaches innovation as well as basic mathematics.

Plus it is a fun way to spend an afternoon.

pastanaga
Post 3

You can also get pinwheels made out of metal. Not necessarily for use in the wind, but for jewelry and other decorations.

You can make metal ones for use in the wind though. Use a few soda cans and some tin cutters or sturdy scissors to make the same shapes you would make with paper.

Bear in mind that most soda cans will have designs on one side of the metal.

You can also experiment with the shapes a bit more than with paper, as the metal will hold its shape better.

Remember to wear gloves. The metal can be sharp.

anon83711
Post 1

Simple and easy. Liked it.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email