Week Sixty-Four: Build Your Own Fidget Spinner1
October 14, 2017 by Cyndi Hamann
Program Title: Build Your Own Fidget Spinner
Target Age Range: Teens – Middle/High School
Program Length: 90 Minutes
Brief Description: Fidget Spinners are all the rage! Build your own Fidget Spinner.
Bottle Caps (the ones from water bottles work best)
Thin Cardboard (Cereal boxes, etc.)
Hot Glue &Hot Glue Guns
Optional: Decorating Supplies like markers and/or paint
For teens, I didn’t pre-prep anything other than making the instructions. I wanted them to have the full experience of total creation.
The supplies were all set out on a table before the program started. Teens were welcomed as they came in. I let the teens start as soon as they got there showing them the instructions and helping them find the starting supplies. Teens were encouraged to follow the instructions, or build their own design, and ask questions of me or their neighbors as needed.
The Fidget Spinner that I based the directions on is here. The changes I made to the instructions are:
- Make the entire middle bottle cap the spinner prior to adding the outside bottle caps. I found this made it easier to work with and manipulate.
- Push pins in place of an Exacto knife (for safety)
- Washers instead of pennies for weight (I don’t like encouraging the misuse of money)
- I only gave the teens paint, and markers for decoration. But you could totally venture into the land of glitter and mod podge/varnish (but this will definitely increase $ and mess)
What we would do differently:
I did this program as a Drop in during the summer and got 40+ teens. I would recommend making this program registration with a lower cap (or having more than 1 staff person). Everyone had a great time, but it was tricky to manage and help everyone in that scenario. 90 minutes was pretty ideal for this program in this setting. Most finished in about 45-60 minutes, but there were some people still working on theirs after 90+ minutes, too.
Adaption for older/younger audience:
I ran this as a grades 6-12 program. It might be better to split it into 2 groups, 6-8 and 9-12. Other than that, I wouldn’t recommend adapting this spinner to a younger audience. There are other fidget spinners that are less complex that may work for a tween crowd, but I don’t think this program would work much younger.
[…] Week Sixty-Four’s Build Your Own Fidget Spinners post for Teens is good choice for an older group, and these additional designs would pair well with that program, too. However, the two good fidget spinner choices here are not enough to stand up alone in a teen program, so consider either combining Week Sixty-Four’s spinner with the Card Stock and Origami Spinners, or use the Card Stock and Origami Spinners as supplemental projects in programs about either origami or physics. […]