Pinwheels are simple crafts for a birthday party that are sure to be a hit!

How to Craft a Paper Pinwheel for Young Children

by Rosenya Faith

Pinwheels are a classic summer accessory; young children love to watch them spin in the breeze. And it's even more fun for youngsters to make their own breeze, too, so they can watch the pinwheel spin even faster. All that blowing and excitement might just tire your youngster out, encouraging an extra long nap time so you can squeeze in a little mommy time, too. The best part about this craft is the fun doesn't end when the project is finished; pinwheels can keep little ones entertained for hours!

Cut a square from a piece of colored paper. You can make the square any size you like; the completed pinwheel will be about 3/4 the size of the original square. Cut out the square and use it as a template to cut a second square from a different piece of colored paper.

Decorate the two paper squares with crayons, marker or pencil crayons. Your child only needs to decorate one side of each square. The other side will not be visible when the pinwheel is complete.

Draw an "X" through the decorated side of each of the squares. These lines will help to shape the pinwheel later.

Spread glue on the plain side of one of the squares, and then place one square on top of the other with the unadorned sides together.

Cut along each of the diagonal lines. Each cut should stop about halfway to the center of the square.

Bring one corner toward the center of the square. Add a little glue and press it down in the center. Repeat to bring each corner to the center and form the pinwheel shape.

Poke a hole through the center of the pinwheel and insert a craft brad. Usually, a push pin is inserted through the center and then forced into the eraser on a pencil to hide the end. However, the push pin has a sharp point that can injure a child if she pulls the pin out of the eraser. The craft brad is a safe alternative. So the pinwheel spins just as easily around the craft brad, hold the pinwheel in place and turn the brad a few times to enlarge the hole slightly.

Open the prong-like ends of the craft brad that are sticking out from the back of the pinwheel. Wrap the ends around a pencil or wooden dowel and squeeze the ends together.

Items you will need

  • Different colored paper
  • Crayons, markers or pencil crayons
  • Craft glue
  • Craft brad
  • Pencil or wooden dowel
  • Scissors


  • If you'd like a more decorative handle for the pinwheel, have your child paint the pencil or wooden dowel and let it dry before attaching it to the brad.


  • Cut and Paste: Science; Jodene Smith

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images