classroom decor,  fine motor

Fine motor skills – folding paper pinwheels

Our school is going to be in a local parade in a couple of weeks, so during free play I’ve been working on a couple of projects for our float, today I was folding paper pinwheels, and the kids wanted to help. After a quick folding lesson, they were of, and they did amazingly well.  This is a great activity for practicing fine motor skills, so I thought I’d share a quick tutorial.  The key to making these with young children is to be accepting of imperfection, they can still work even if the accordion folds are not straight or even.

1. Start with a sheet of paper. We used standard sized construction paper, but you can also use 12×12 scrapbook paper, or regular printer paper.  
2. Create accordion pleats across the length of the paper. This is the part that the children can help with easily. 

3. You will need to fold two sheets of paper.  Once you have two sheets with accordion pleats, fold each in half and tape the pleats in the center of the fold.

4. Stretch out the edges of each fan so that you have two semi-circles.  Tape these together.

The children chose to make theirs with two different colors.  When their pinwheels were done they used them for all kinds of wonderful play.  First the were Ninja Turtle masks, and then super hero shields.  This is an easy activity that builds confidence and a feeling of competence.  The finished pinwheels are great classroom decorations for every day, or special events!

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