HOW TO MAKE A BUTTON spinner
A spinning button toy is an old fashion toy that has been delighting kids for generations. They are also known by different names; button whirligig, button spinner, thread spinner and buzzer. This fun, easy-to-make toy can be made in just minutes with common household items.
When the kids are bored or on rainy or snowy days, grab a button and string and make this simple whirligig DIY toy.
Besides being a cool spinning toy, this DIY button spinner can be a learning moment. It's a fun STEM (or STEAM) craft idea for kids of all ages.
For more fun and easy kid's craft projects, head over to our kid's craft page.
To learn how to make and operate a spinning button toy, watch this video and/or keep reading this post for a step-by-step photo tutorial.
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HOW TO MAKE BUTTON SPINNER
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- String or Stong Thread
- Large Button
INSTRUCTIONS FOR MAKING A BUTTON WHIRLIGIG
STEP 1: The String
With the scissor, cut a length of strong, flexible string 36 inches long.
STEP 2: Thread the Button
Thread the string through two of the buttonholes. If the button has four holes, place string through diagonal holes.
STEP 3: Tie Ends Together
Tie the two loose ends of the string together into a knot.
STEP 4: Finger Loops
Make finger loops at each end by tying another knot near the end of the string large enough for a finger.
READY, SET, Time to play!
HOW TO OPERATE AND MAKE IT BUZZ
Place the button in the middle of the string.
Place a finger from each hand into the finger loops.
Then, spin the button in one direction around in a circular motion about 20 - 30 times until the string gets tightly twisted.
After the string is twisted tightly, pull the string apart for a second, then release the pressure. The string will twist back on itself. Pull the string taut again to keep it spinning.
Continue this in and out motion.
It may take a while to get the hang of it. Don't give up because it's great fun.
Instead of a button, whirligigs can be made using other materials. The Craft Train has a free tutorial on how to make a cardboard spinner with a free set of printable templates.
STEM LESSON - WHAT KIDS CAN LEARN
A button spinner is a lesson in energy and rotational physics - potential energy (energy waiting to happen) and kinetic energy (energy in motion).
When the string is just sitting there twisted, it contains only potential energy. When the string is pulled and begins to spin, the potential energy begins to convert to kinetic energy.
The kinetic energy converts back to potential energy as the button winds back on itself.
The ScienceToyMaker has an article on how the spinning button is perfect for explaining all 3 of Newton's Laws of Motion.
Have you played with this toy?
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