Spinning a top takes some dexterity, making it a toy with the added benefit of teaching fine motor skills. Creating your own paper top is even more fun and requires a bit of dexterity of its own. Young children won't be able to do all the steps in this project, but anyone can help with at least part of it. And everyone will have fun with the top at the end.
1. Cut newspaper or colored paper into thin strips (approximately 1/2 inch). The easiest way to do this is for the grown-up to use a paper cutter or an X-Acto knife and a ruler, but you can also use scissors. The strips don't have to be exactly even but should be pretty close. One piece of newspaper will make about the right amount.
2. Tape the strips together to make one long strip and then tape one end of your long strip close to the bottom of a toothpick.
3. Twist the toothpick to wind the paper tightly around the toothpick. You want to keep the tension tight. Every once in a while you can pull the paper and tighten it. You want it to be as tight as can be without ripping the paper, but if you do rip it it's okay, just tape it and keep going. This might be challenging for kids. When you come to the end of your paper, just tape the end down.
These tops spin really nicely. You can shape your paper into a cone or leave as is. If your top is hard to spin, changing the shape may help. Moving the center of gravity lower makes it easier to spin, but you don't want it so low that it hits the table too easily. Experiment and see what works best.
If you try this WeeWork project, share it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag @mommypoppins so we can see your creations too!
Kids' work is to play. WeeWork is a Mommy Poppins series offering an easy daily activity for grown-ups and children to do together, making kids' work an important part of your day. We aim to inspire together time, creativity and fun using only your imagination and things around the house. You can see all our WeeWork activity posts here.
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