do it yourself: fun day spinners

Start the summer with some fun! Using easy-to-find materials from home, create a colorful and magical paper plate-based pinwheel spinner. Young artists can get creative with their designs to make their spinner one-of-a-kind. This project also provides both children and caregivers the chance to color and draw freely with repetition, providing calm and focus to our emotions as well as an opportunity to take a break from screen time. Enjoy this fun art project and toy in one!

guidelines + materials

AGE: 4+ (with grownup support)

TIME FRAME: 20 – 30 minutes


  • Paper Plate (circular)
  • Drawing Materials (markers, crayons, or pencils)
  • Straw
  • Pencil with eraser included
  • Straight pin


1. Design your plate. Using a black marker or other drawing material, create a center dot on your paper plate and then make a wrapping line (or other design of your choice) all around the inside of the plate. You will be coloring within and around these lines.

2. Color your plate. Using crayons or other colored drawing materials, fill in the plate with color – including the edges. Tip: If available, use 2 or more colors. Different colors and patterns will stand out when you spin your plate.

3. Create the pin holder. Cut a 1-inch piece from the drinking straw. Using the straight pin, poke the sharp side of the pin through the straw piece to form a T shape. (Adult assistance required for young children.)

4. Finish your spinner! Stick the sharp side of the pin through the center of the plate so that the straw piece is on top of the colored side of the plate. Using a hard surface (like a table) to steady it, stick the sharp side of the pin through the eraser of the pencil. Carefully (and with help if needed), bend the pin 90 degrees so that the plate is parallel to the pencil. (Adult assistance required for young children.)

5. Spin! Holding the pencil with one hand, use the other hand or a friend to spin the plate. Tip: You don’t have to spin the plate hard to make it go! Watch it spin and watch your design transform as it moves around and around.

6. Go outdoors. Take your spinner outside and explore letting the wind make it spin!

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