February 5, 2019 by WittyLibrarian
Program Title: Week Seventy-Six: Fidget Spinners, Version 2
Target Age Range: Grades 4-6
Program Length: 90 minutes
Brief Description: Explore the science of fidget spinners and create 3 different fidget spinners of your very own!
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
Colored Computer Paper
- Cut the colored computer paper lengthwise in half. Each participant will need 4 of the narrow colored stripes of paper. Multiple colors is advised.
- Print out fidget spinner templates on card stock. Each participant will need two templates.
- The craft sticks need to be cut to size. Each craft stick should be roughly 3 inches long. To determine the best length for the craft stick to be cut, first take 3 uncut craft sticks and a ball bearing and form a tight triangle out of craft sticks around the ball bearing. Mark the intersections where each craft stick crosses the other, and that should help determine the exact length your craft sticks need to be cut.
- Print out instruction handouts for each participant of each spinner design.
- Welcome and introduction of topic.
- We showed NASA Johnson’s Fidget spinner spinning in space! video as an interesting introduction to the topic.
- Livescience.com’s How Fidget Work: It’s All About the Physics gives a good explanation into how the science behind fidget spinners.
- Make 3 different fidget spinners
- Ball Bearing Fidget Spinner
- Origami Fidget Spinner
- Card stock Fidget Spinner
- End program.
Fidget spinner projects.
The Ball Fidget Spinner was inspired and adapted from KidsActivity.com’s How to Make a Fidget Spinner.
The Origami Fidget Spinner was adapted and inspired by Red Ted Art’s Ninja Fidget Spinner DIY – Paper Only, NO TEMPLATE Needed post and Mr. Crazy’s How To Make A Paper Fidget Spinner WITHOUT BEARINGS video. Further information on how to fold origami ninja stars was obtained from Origamiway.com’s Origami Ninja Star Instructions post.
The Card Stock Fidget Spinner was inspired and adapted from both Red Ted Art’s Printable DIY Fidget Spinner Instructions post and Draw So Cute’s How to Make an Easy Fidget Spinner Toy video.. We used Draw So Cute’s Paper Fidget Spinner template for the fidget spinner template.
We allowed each participant to choose the order in which they made each fidget spinner, and they followed the instruction handouts at their own pace. The supplies for each type of spinner were laid out on tables for the participants to access as they needed them. Librarians helped the participants with the portions of the instructions for each spinner that called for hot glue, and librarians also assisted with using push pins and skewers to create holes in both the card stock and origami fidget spinner.
What we would do differently:
Both the Origami Fidget Spinner and the Card Stock Fidget Spinner worked beautifully. Participants found the origami portion of the fidget spinner a bit tricky, but not unreasonably so. The Card Stock Fidget Spinner was really simple to put together, but it had by far the best spin, and was a group favorite. The same cannot be said of the Ball Bearing Fidget Spinner. This fidget spinner was hard to make, was the heaviest and slowest of all the fidget spinners, and the one most prone to error. We would recommend passing on the Ball Bearing Fidget Spinner and shorting the program to an hour, as the other two spinners would not take a full 90 minutes to make.
Adaptation for older/younger audience:
This project would not work well for much younger audiences. To accommodate any younger than 4th grade, we recommend making the fidget spinners a family project, so that younger participants have a caregiver with them to help with the finer details of each spinner.
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.