Fidget Spinners


Billy Preston

Billy Preston

That’s what Billy Preston wondered in his famous song clear back in 1971.  It was a simple, catchy tune, one I found myself singing recently when I went to visit my grandkids in Phoenix while crafting some goofy little toys.  (Dig up the late Preston’s “Round in Circles” YouTube video, and you’ll find yourself infected with that earworm too.)


The answer is it WILL fly if you throw it‑‑hopefully into the nearest garbage can, which is Red Fidget Spinnerprobably the most rightful place for the latest useless toy craze (drum roll‑‑er, I mean eyeball roll):  FIDGET SPINNERS!

WHAT THE… you’re kidding me, right?  These goofy things are being sold everywhere‑‑in stores, at gas stations, by the bushel via the Wonderful, Wacky, World Wide Web on Amazon or eBay‑‑and, worst of all, they’re apparently breeding like rabbits in schools where they’re currently causing an uproar.


What distracting little fad will come around next?  When I was a kid, it was marbles and those homemade rubbery Creepy Crawlers (carried to school in a Band‑Aid box to sell to other kids for a nickel each, an idea I stole from my friend in the fourth grade).

Creepy Crawlers

But we only played with them at recess on the playground, whereas these new twirling gadgets had an early life being touted as stress‑relieving devices for use in actual classrooms for children with autism or attention/hyperactivity disorders.

Well, after the spinners and their lofty intentions became pretty much hijacked by overzealous young fidgeters who collect and spin (and sometimes choke on) the little gizmos like they’re going out of style‑‑and let’s hope they do‑‑the glory days of the whirling gadgets in the classrooms seem to be winding down.

So, back to Phoenix with my grandchildren.  There was Grandma Vicky musing over these spinners the kids had, when suddenly Brooke, age 9, appeared with a video on her iPad instructing you how to make your own fidget spinner from cereal boxes and art materials that are present in every home’s junk drawer‑‑or, for the better‑organized, in the crafts room.  I took a look‑‑and what DO you think happened?  Yes, the Girl Scout badge‑earner in me leaped right up, emptied out a box of microwave popcorn pouches from my daughter’s pantry, and got to work.

How to Make Spinners


Despite my belief that fidget spinners are just SO yesterday, besides being a total waste of money and time, I’m here to tell you, that is only true UNLESS you get crafty and make your own!  In my world, doing crafts is for superheroes, and the fun of helping my grandkids morph a working spinner out of a cookie box, some pennies and a toothpick while they get to make a mess in their mom’s kitchen with Grandma is just simply priceless.

Megan and Tyler Creation

Megan and Tyler checking out their creations

Now, don’t get your hopes up‑‑this won’t be a how‑to post for making fidget spinners.  I had wanted to put a link up for the lady’s video that the kids and I followed for making our spinners, but when I searched for it later, I found every spinner‑making video BUT hers‑‑literally dozens and dozens of them, using everything from beads and buttons and pennies to cardboard, tongue depressors, crayons, bottle caps, you name it…and Elmer’s glue or hot glue or duct tape to hold it all together.  So I’ll leave it up to you, if you want to make a spinner, to just jump on the search bar and pick your fave.  The point is to just MAKE something!  It’s educational, it’s a together thing, and it’s fun.

Fidget Spinner 2

Fidget Spinner 3

Fidget Spinner 4

We traced a store‑bought spinner to make a pattern for the main body, then we cut two pieces from the box for each spinner.  You have to poke a little hole through the middle (I could only find this short screw to poke through, but a nail will work).  Elmer’s glue or hot glue the two sides together‑‑with Minions facing outward, of course!

Fidget Spinner 6

Fidget Spinner 7

Fidget Spinner 8

I used pennies to give the thing some weight, attached to the three “arms” with fancy‑pants duct tape.  We made Tyler a Minion spinner out of a Kraft Mac & Cheese box, a little one for Megan from a Girl Scout cookie box, and the first one I fashioned from the aforementioned popcorn box.

Fidget Spinner 12

The “bearing” in the center was made from little circles and a toothpick.

Fidget Spinner 5

Here is a side view of showing four little penny‑sized disks (two glued together for each side of the spinner), holes poked through them with a toothpick acting like an axle with the little disks being the wheels.  (Yeah, that’s the best explanation I can come up with for that.)

Fidget Spinner 9

Glue the toothpick almost flush with one side, and leave the other side long until the glue you put around it dries, after which you can snip it off.  You can use a glass to hold it while it dries for an hour or so.

Fidget Spinner 10
Fidget Spinner 11

After you snip off the end of the toothpick, you’re done!  Here are my little ones demonstrating how they work.  Note for the really little ones (who shouldn’t be under age 4 due to small parts!): I had to trim a bit off the ends of Megan’s three arm things because her hand is so small that it couldn’t spin at full size.

Do check out some fun videos and let me know if you decide to get creative and make a spinner!

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