Paper windmills are made with just a few simple folds and cuts, making this craft a fun and easy-to-do project for kids. Paper windmills, also referred to as pinwheels, can be made in a variety of ways. The craft can be used as a tool to teach children about how real wind turbines can turn wind into energy. Paper windmills can also be made in a fashion that encourages children to use artistic creativity, such as creating windmills that serve as holiday decorations, origami and even jewelry.
With older children, consider crafting origami windmills. These are made with a series of folds and creases using a single 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper. When the folds are complete, a piece of paper is turned into a pinwheel shape. It can be attached to a pencil, stick or Dixie cup to resemble a windmill. Tell children to blow on the windmill as a wind effect to see it turn.
Garden windmills are perfect for teaching children how wind turbines work. While origami windmills are created only through folds, garden windmills are created by measuring, drawing, cutting and folding a piece of paper to form a pinwheel shape. The pinwheel then stays intact with a pushpin placed through the center of the wheel. The pinwheel can be attached to a garden cane and placed in the ground. When wind begins to flow, kids will get a demonstration of how wind makes a windmill turn. Use this to guide children in a lesson about wind energy.
Windmills can be used for decorative purposes such as a child's birthday party or a holiday party at school. Use decorative paper such as red or blue paper with stamped stars for Independence Day celebrations, pastel paper for Easter and red or green paper to create Christmas decorations. Then form the pinwheels using the origami folding method. You can even add glue and glitter to create a metallic spinning effect.
Instead of using a full sheet of paper to create windmills, consider using two 1-inch squares of paper to cut and fold tiny pinwheels. Once they're formed, you can poke earring-style fish hooks through the paper pinwheels to create earrings. Glue a button or decorative bead to the center of the windmill for an added touch. Sealing the windmill and the button or bead with a hot glue gun will help to keep the earrings from falling apart.
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