Blowing the windmill Blow on the sails to make the windmill turn. It will rotate with air movement, whether this is from wind, blowing it or moving it through the air.

Please download the pdf files for up to date instructions.

Making the toy

1. Make a square piece of paper (fold diagonally and trim if necessary). Draw in the diagonals and mark the position of 4 holes at each corner.

Marking out a square


2. Cut along the lines just over half way.

Cut along lines

Make holes a little larger than the nail or wire in the 4 edges and the centre.

Fold each sail into the centre

3. Each corner with a hole can now be moved to the centre.

Finish the windmill shape

4. Make 4 beads - these can be seeds, or made from clay, soft wood, etc. These beads should be the size of the nail or wire.

Attach beads to nail or wire

Put a bead on the end of the nail/wire. Push the nail/wire through each of the corner holes. Add 1 or 2 more beads in the middle before pushing the nail/wire through the centre hole at the back.

The finished windmill


The windmill should look like this.


5. Put the last bead on the end and hammer hammer through a predrilled hole on the end of a stick at least 30cm long.

Side view

Cut away view from the side:


Playing with the toy

Blow from the sideBlowing a windmill

Hold at right angle to your body and turn around.

Run with the windmill facing your forward direction.

Face the windmill to the wind so it turns on its own.


Problem solving

Windmill won't turn:

a) The paper is too tight in the holes or

b) The last bead is not large enough and the paper is hitting the stick or

c) The paper is too damp and has not got a good shape, use better paper and keep it dry.


Developing this toy

Make small windmills using a pin and small beads. Or make a larger windmill using cardboard,

Try using plastic instead of paper.

Try rubbing wax over the paper to make it more waterproof, or even paint the paper or card first.

There are many more windmills that can be made, we hope to having a video showing a range of examples.