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Creative
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Origami Pinwheels

Make a Japanese paper-folding craft

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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Curious
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Creative
The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.
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Caring
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Confident
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Origami, the Japanese art of paper folding, gives little fingers a workout as hand-eye coordination, small motor skills, and attention skills come into play. Follow our directions and, fold by fold, a pinwheel magically appears.
Origami Pinwheel
What You’ll Need
  • Square piece of paper
  • Tape
  • Thick straw
  • Thin, bendable straw
  • Pencil
What to Do
  1. Mark the center line on each side of the paper
  2. Fold the right and left sides in to meet at the center, then unfold.
  3. Fold the bottom and top sides to meet at the center, then unfold.
  4. Fold diagonally, top left corner to bottom right, then unfold.
  5. Fold diagonally, top right corner to bottom left, then unfold.
  6. Fold each corner in to the center, then unfold.
  7. Bring the center line on each side to the center of the paper.
  8. Flatten each corner peak to the right, along the pre-creased lines.
  9. Put a piece of the tape across the center to prevent unfolding.
  10. Poke a hole through the center.
  11. Cut off a 1-inch piece from a thick straw, and push it through the center of the pinwheel.
  12. Slide the end of a thinner, bendy straw through the thicker straw at the pinwheel’s center. Blow air at your pinwheel to make it spin.­­­

Download our free printable guide for step-by-step visuals on how to fold your pinwheel.

Origami Pinwheel

Extend the Fun

For younger kids: Buy a pack of origami paper—it’s thin, with colored patterns on one side only, designed especially for origami. Examine all the different patterns; arrange them by color. Practice making more pinwheels. Put the pinwheels in a tall glass jar as a table decoration. Share your pinwheels with friends, neighbors, and teachers.

For older kids: Consult a book, online video, or website devoted to origami, and practice more complex foldings. Teach a friend; start a club. The origami crane is a symbol of healing, peace, and health, often used to decorate evergreen trees during the winter holidays. According to Japanese legend, making 1,000 paper cranes (a Senbazuru) makes a wish come true. Try it!

Which of the following phrases best describes your elementary-school student?

Parents Talk Back
Which of the following phrases best describes your elementary-school student?
My kid is an introvert.
10% (5 votes)
My kid is an extrovert.
38% (20 votes)
My kid is mostly an introvert but sometimes behaves like an extrovert.
25% (13 votes)
My kid is an extrovert but acts like an introvert from time to time.
27% (14 votes)
Total votes: 52