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Thursday, 30 July 2015

School Holiday Project 7: Folding and Decorating a Paper Windmill

Today I am going to show you how to make an old favorite; the paper windmill. This is a really great project to do with children. Older kids can measure their own windmills, but for younger ones I would recommend having the lines already measured and drawn in place. They need to practice cutting with scissors, so you should let them do this even if it does not turn out perfectly. They then get to color and decorate their windmills before they fold and assemble it as well. This project develops a number of fine motor skills and they will have a lot of fun. So will you!

You will need a straw, A4 paper, a ruler, a pencil and eraser, scissors, a split pin and coloring pencils.

Standard A4 paper is 21 cm wide. Crop the length to measure 21 cm as well. This will give you a perfect square.

Connect the corners diagonally.

Measure 5 cm from the inside on all 4 diagonal lines.

Draw a 1 cm line on each of the 5 cm marks.

Measure 2 cm on both sides of each corner.

Connect the 1 cm marks with the 2 cm marks.

A young child will become confused by all the lines and he/she will not know which ones will need to be cut and which ones not. Re-draw the lines that must be cut in another color to make it clear.

Punch a hole in the center of the windmill.

Cut out the corner strips as shown. (Don't  they make perfect ties?).

Be sure to show the child how the windmill will be folded so they can understand better how to decorate it.

The decorating of the windmill can be as intricate or as simple as the child wishes to make it, or as their abilities will allow. Try not to dictate this process, but rather allow them to discover their own abilities and creativity. Lots of praise is in order. Guard yourself against criticism. You do not want to discourage them.

With all the decorations in place, you can now fold the windmill one side at a time. Clumsy little fingers will not find this an easy exercise to do.

You can punch a hole on top of the previous one for the split pin to go through.

Cut a hole in the straw for the split pin to go in.

Insert the split pin. Do not tighten it too much or the windmill will not turn.

The legs of the pin at the back of the windmill.

Ready for play!

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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