Whirley-gig, a hanging toy

Whirley-gig, a hanging toy

Materials:       Straight stick, flexible string, disc or shape for the middle not too light.



1) Use a straight, smooth, even  diameter stick. This can be made by shaping with a knife.

2) Make small cuts for the thread at both ends, they must face exactly the same way.

3) Use a flat object for the centre, a disc is best, unbalanced shapes will work, even a parrot shape.

4) Find the centre and make a hole for the stick.

5) Push the stick in half way and glue well.

6) Strengthen with bottle lids,  hammer on for added strength.

6) Tie the thread to the holes, wedge or glue so the knot is strong and even. Make sure that the thread comes straightout from the holes.

6 )Make a knot at the top exactly in the middle.



  • Use a good spot where the toy can hang freely.
  • Wind up the whirley-gig, stop when it touches the thread and leave it to run up and down.

Problem Solving:

  • If the toy will not wind very high without rubbing on the thread then the knot needs to be moved.
  • If the stick is not even in diameter the knot must be moved  to one side to compensate.
  • If the toy hits one side and then the other the holes and knots are not even on the stick.


  • Try small and large discs, heavy and light.
  • Long and short thread. Wide and narrow sticks. 
  • Paint patterns, especially spirals.
  • Use other shapes, papier-mache shapes are perfect.
  • If the whirley gig does not go well separate the threads at the top half the width of the bottom.