Wednesday, December 26, 2012

DIY Salt Dough Whirligig, Buzzer, Button Spinner or Buzzing YoYo Toy Craft

So I had this idea….
(This phrase is how most of my random crafts and projects begin.)

There are many names for this toy but I will call it a whirligig.

I grew up with one of these toys and I adored it. My aunt crafted mine from wood and painted it. I did a bit of research and found out that this is one of the oldest children’s toys around. Apparently the Native American children played with a version of it dating back hundreds of years BC. According to the local news “Vintage toys are IN this Christmas” so, hey, it’s “trendy”. I wanted to make a whirligig with my 5 year old over the holidays but I’m not a carpenter. I’ve tried making them before with large buttons but was never happy with them. But I like salt dough…

This is me and my kids DIY version of this vintage toy.
Warning: Keep this toy away from long hair, the resulting tangle would be Epic.

I always use the Busy Bee's Kids Crafts Salt Dough Recipe found I halfed the recipe for this craft.

Warm water
Nylon rope (or other kind of rope)
Tempura paint and brushes

I picked up this rope at my local hardware store. 

To make it somewhat educational and since I didn't know what size circle I wanted to make it, the girls and I used difference size plastic cups to cut our circles. We measured and found cups with a 2 inch, 2.5 inch and 3 inch diameter to use. 

My littlest "Helper"

Poke two holes in the center of each circle with kabob skewers. 

Before they went into the oven

After the oven

My oldest helper painted them for us

Finished product, a salt dough circle with two holes and rope threaded through. 

To finish the edges so they wouldn't unravel I sealed them with a flame. 

All three sizes worked but we decided the 2 inch circles were our favorite.

When you twirl it you want to keep the sealed rope edge in your hands away from the circle. Hold the rope in both hands and spin the circle until it is wound tightly. Next pull the rope tight enough to make the circle begin to spin, next leave some slack in the rope so that the circle can spin in the other direction. This continues the back and forth spinning or whirligig motion of the toy.

I made a short video demo as an example. 

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