How to Make Paper Windmills with Children

    by Robert Vaux

    About the Author

    Robert Vaux has been a professional writer and editor since 1995. He has traveled throughout Europe and North America as well as parts of North Africa. Since 2000 he has been a professional movie critic at Flipside Movie Emporium, the Sci-Fi Movie Page and Vaux has a Master of Arts in English literature from Syracuse University.


    Provide your child with an indoor distraction on a rainy day that she can take outdoors later when the sun is shining once again. Crafting and decorating will let your child explore her creative side and the completed paper windmill will help to demonstrate the principles that make real windmills work. You can share the little lesson with her friends too; just turn the activity into an inexpensive birthday craft for an artistic young group of party-goers.

    Things You'll Need

    • Paper (8-inch square)
    • Scissors
    • Sewing pin
    • Pencil with eraser

    Fold the paper diagonally to make a triangle. Unfold the paper and fold it again along the opposite corners. When you're done, you should have a pair of folds making an "X" through the paper.

    Measure 1 inch from the center of the "x" along each of the crease marks and use a pencil to note those locations.

    Cut a straight line down each crease until you reach the points you have marked. Don't cut past these points because they delineate the center of the windmill.

    Grasp one half of the corner you have just cut and pull it down to the center of the "X." Be careful not to crease it or fold it. Repeat this process with one half of each of the four corners until they are all in the center. Use the same side of each cut every time; if you pulled down the corner to the left of the first cut, pull down the left-hand corners of the remaining three cuts as well.

    Stick a pin firmly through all of the layers in the center of the paper. The folded paper now resembles a windmill.

    Stick the sharp end of the pin through the eraser of an unsharpened pencil, sandwiching the paper windmill in between. The eraser will hide the pin's sharp end, making it safe for youngsters and prevent the paper windmill from falling off the pin.

    Move the windmill gently from side to side, blow on it, or hold it up to a light breeze to watch it spin.

    • If you like, decorate the pinwheel by sticking bits of ribbon into the tips when it is complete. Alternatively, color the paper using crayons or markers. multicolored paper will make the windmill more spectacular.


    • Wind Power: 20 Projects to Make with Paper; Clive Dobson


    • Paper Art; Jeanette Ryall