Whether you need to make a new spinner to replace a missing game board piece or are looking for a fast new activity to get your child’s energy out on a rainy day, here’s a two-in-one idea for you!
Materials You’ll Need
- Paper Plate or Card Stock
- Piece of Paper
- Hole Puncher – not pictured
Depending what you have available, you can make a spinner either by using a paper plate or a piece of cardboard. I’ve found using a paper plate is easiest since they are pre-made circles, but sometimes we like to make them a little fancier or simply don’t have paper plates handy. If that is the case, cut a piece of card stock or scrap cardboard into a square (around 6 inches by 6 inches) and find a bowl or other circular object that fits perfectly inside it’s edges. Trace the bowl and paint a circle directly onto the square base.
Step 1: Prepare Spinner Base
Determine how many spaces you will need and using a marker, draw lines to divide your spinner into its necessary sections. To make even spaces, begin by dividing the circle in half. Then divide each section in half again to create fourths, and continue as needed. At this time, you can also add your numbers, colors, pictures, or any other instructions that should be included within the sections of your spinner. If anything is too complicated, I recommend using a pencil first so you can erase if you make a mistake and color in with markers (or paint if you so desire).
Step 2: Create Arrow
Using a piece of cardboard or card stock, cut out an arrow for your spinner. Make sure it is slightly shorter than the circumference of your circle, and that it is a visible color that will stand out against the spinner’s background and/or other colors used in Step 1. With a hole puncher, punch a hole near the lower middle portion of the arrow. If you are creating a spinner to last, you can also cover both the arrow and spinner base with clear contact paper or laminate them for added durability.
Step 3: Attach Spinning Arrow
Attaching the spinning arrow is very easy. If you have any brass paper fasteners in your home office, using these will save some time. If you do not have a store-bought fastener laying around, don’t worry. You can create your own with the simple use of a piece of construction paper, a hole puncher, and some tape. Cut yourself a small square of construction paper (about 2 inches by 2 inches). Lay square flat, and tightly roll it up into a tube, securing one end with tape.
With a scissors, cut a slit about half way into the tape-less, unsecured end of the rolled tube. After cutting a hole in the center of the circle on your spinner’s base, push the side of the tube with the slit through the hole and secure on the bottom of the spinner with tape for stability. Flip your spinner right-side-up, slide on the arrow, and your spinner is done. Go on, and give it a try!
Step 4: Play
As easy as that, you’re spinner is ready to be used. Whether as a replacement spinner to a board game you already own, or for a new game you and your child are about to invent! Game spinners can come in handy for a variety of creative learning lessons and reviewing activities depending on how you make it. We made a simple one here for a counting game and reviewing numbers.
Need something to do with the kids on a rainy day to help use up some of that extra energy?
Play “Get Your Wiggles Out“. This game is super easy to play, and using a numbered spinner adds an extra element of fun while providing a creative learning technique to practice counting.
Start by writing some actions, such as clap your hands or jumping jacks, on small pieces of paper. Think of as many actions as you can, and get your kids to help come up with a few actions of their own to add into the mix. When done, fold up your pieces of paper and place them into a shoe box or bag.
To play, have your child pick an action out of the shoe box, and spin the spinner. Then, along with your child, perform the task as many times as the number that the spinner’s arrow lands on. Repeat and enjoy! Play with friends and practice taking turns picking actions and using the spinner.
Have you created your own spinners and games using this guide? Send us a picture and we’ll add it to our Facebook Gallery!