Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer Fun: Whirligig

I remember making these whirligigs as a kid. They were quick to put together and fun to play with for a long time after. I got the idea as a child out of my "Fold, Paste, Whittle, Paint and Hammer" book by Robert Pierce. I used the same exact copy today. It is hard to come by these days, so maybe check your local library.
The supplies are very basic - yarn/string and a button. He actually suggests in the book that if you don't have a button to just cut a circle out of cardboard and put two holes in it.
Just poke the yarn up through one hole and down out of the other. If you are using a button with four holes, thread back down through the hole diagonally across from the first. Oh, and we just eyeballed the length of yarn. For the kids I used about 2 feet and maybe 2.5 for mine.
Tie the ends in a knot. See if you can make yours as pretty as ours! ;)
After that, hold each end of the yarn loop, allowing the button to slide to the middle. Then you just swing it round and round to wind it up.
When there starts to be some tension, pull your hands gently out and then quickly back in. It might take a little practice at first, especially for younger kids (one of mine, the one that wasn't a gorilla today, had too hard of a time and gave up). Once you get it though, the button will keep spinning and make a fun "whirling" sound.
And if you had to go out and buy buttons for this and it turns out your kids don't enjoy the whirligigs (not saying that mine didn't...or something) they can invent games like mine. Line up three buttons and snap the outer two together to shoot the middle one on the floor. If it makes it on the floor instead of staying on the table then you get a point. The rules were not explained to me beyond that. Hopefully those of you with older children (mine are 4 & 5) might have a little more fun with this. I know I did when I was a kid.

*EDIT: My 4 year old (the non-gorilla who gave up even trying the whirligig out) just came in and said, "Mom, I'm getting really good at this!" So maybe it wasn't a total failure here. 

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