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A few months ago I saw some fun penny spinners online to purchase and have had them on my list of things to try and make! This week we tried it out and it was a big hit with my kids! These penny spinners are fun and easy to make with your kids and I even have a printable template you can use to make your own.
How to Make Penny Spinners:
Watch it in action first!
Penny Spinner Supplies:
Printed templates (download below!)
Crayons or markers
Cut out circles from cardboard. Our templates are 4.5 incase in diameter. I used an Ikea kids bowl as my template when tracing, but you could print the template then match it that way, too. Cut a tiny slit in the center of the cardboard circle so the penny can slide in. If the slit is too wide, the pennies do not stay in place very well.
Print, color and cut out the penny spinner templates. My templates for these penny spinners have 8 different fun patterns! You can download these from my subscriber library. Sign up below to get my weekly emails and get access to my whole subscriber library.
Cut another small slit in the center of your colored template so it will slide over the top of the penny. Glue onto the cardboard.
They are ready to go!
The Science Behind Penny Spinners: What Makes a Top Spin?
These penny spinners are a great activity to keep kids busy and entertained. Plus you can have a talk about physics and motion. Why does a top spin?
There is actually a lot of behind the spinning of a top! Here are the basics.
It starts with energy and torque. Torque is the measurement of a force that makes something spin. A top, or this penny spinner, has potential energy before it starts spinning. Potential energy is the stored energy, or the potential of the object to move. Once it started spinning, it become kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is the energy it has because of its motion.
The top spins on an invisible axis, called the axis of rotation.
Newton’s third law of Motion says that an object would continue to rotate on this axis until an external force acts upon it.
But, a top would have to be perfectly balanced and be on a perfectly balanced surface to spin forever. Also, we have to bring in friction and gravity. The friction slows the top causing it to wobble, and the force of gravity will pull it down to one side or the other.
Want to download the Penny Spinner templates?
They are available free for subscribers! Sign up below to have them emailed right to you!
Try Some More STEM Toys & Projects:
Magnet Marble Mazes
Shooting Star Spinners
Bubble Blower Machines
Rendi B Powers says
Great site! My kiddos love your ideas! Thank you so much!
These are great ideas! I’d love to sign up and get the penny spinner templates for my Makerspace, but the link isn’t working.
Patricia Decker says
Great ideas, Thanks!
what could be used instead of a penny?
Karyn Tripp says
I’m sure any coin would work fine.
Love the resources thank you!
Miguel Ceballos says
Can’t wait to try these
What could you use instead of a coin?
Rebekah Kubosumi says
My class used popsicle sticks instead of pennies and it worked super well!
This was a hit! I teach a group of K-5 students and it’s hard to find projects suitable for all, but they all loved it!
Larene Hildreth says
I would like the template for the Penny Spinners, they look like a fun easy craft for kids
Would poster board work instead of cardboard, or would it be too flimsy?
Posterboard would probably work well. I use cardstock which has about the same thickness, and it works pretty well.
Judy Craun says
I’m trying to download your spinner patterns and it said to subscribe and I tried and it won’t go throw. It keeps spinning. Help Judy
Thank you! This is a wonderful resource to use with a variety of age groups!
chandra woods says
Love these and I know my students will enjoy creating them.
Maria Esperanza Martinez says
Thank You! I love this kind of ideas to do with the guys to increase their imagination and have fun playing.