Making Windmills for Kids

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    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 Mania.com. Vaux has a Master of Arts in English literature from Syracuse University.

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    Windmills operate on very simple principles, which make them an easy arts and crafts project for kids. Scout troops can create them in the course of a single meeting, parents can work on them with their children during a slow afternoon and kids can make them on their own with just a little basic safety and oversight. The process itself takes only a few minutes, and requires basic materials that you can find around the house.

    Windmills

    Windmills operate on very simple principles, which make them an easy arts and crafts project for kids. Scout troops can create them in the course of a single meeting, parents can work on them with their children during a slow afternoon and kids can make them on their own with just a little basic safety and oversight. The process itself takes only a few minutes, and requires basic materials that you can find around the house.

    Folding

    Start with a square piece of paper. You can buy it square or cut household printing paper to fit. Printing paper is usually 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches, so you'll need to measure and cut 2 1/2 inches off of the bottom to make it square. Fold the paper diagonally along two corners, forming a triangle. Unfold it and repeat the process using the other two corners. Unfold it again, leaving the paper with two creases forming an "X" through the center.

    Cutting

    When the folds are complete, you need to make some cuts. Cut along each of the creases until you reach 1 inch from the center of the "X." Measure with a ruler and mark it with a pencil if you need to. You can go a little higher or lower if you wish, depending upon the size of the paper you are using, but don't cut too far or the windmill will fall apart. Punch a hole in the exact center where the folds cross. Punch a hole in the left-hand half of each of the four corners of the paper to the center of the "X." Fold the corners down to that the holes in the corners line up with the hole in the center of the paper. Act with care so you don't crease the folds.

    Finishing

    Now you're ready to complete the windmill. Insert a paper brad through the holes. It should catch and hold all four of the corners you have bent and then poke out through the back of the paper. You should be able to spin the paper gently while you hold the end of the brad. Stick the brad through the eraser end of an unsharpened pencil or a drinking straw, and bend the ends down. Cover the end of the brads with tape. When the brad is secure, the windmill will turn when you blow on it or hold it up to a light breeze.

    Final Thoughts

    Although adults have a better sense of hand-eye coordination, children can perform most of the these steps themselves, which increases the enjoyment of the project. Have them use safety scissors for the cutting and watch them carefully when the time comes to insert the brad.