01 March, 2011

Spinny Birds

If you don't know or haven't heard about something called Angry Birds, fret not.  Apparently it is a little game for mobile phones.  Since I am not so mobile phone savvy, I have never played it, but my students can't seem to stop talking about it!  Hence my name for our little art project for this week.

Here is my tutorial, How to Make Spinny Birds!


  • paper plates
  • construction paper
  • feathers
  • anything white and fuzzy (we used pillow stuffing)
  • washable tempera paint in squirt bottles
  • salad spinner
  • glue

Optional Extra Materials

  • inexpensive hair gel
  • glitter
  • pipe cleaners
  • string


  • Head over to a thrift shop or a yard sale and pick up an old salad spinner.  I got ours at a yard sale last summer, for $1.  We have one at home, but I still use it for salad - a lot - and I did not want to mix food and paint!
  • Lay out all your materials, making especially sure to put your paint in squirt bottles.  If you don't have any on hand, you could save and use old ketchup bottles or you buy some at any art supply store.  I have some almost exactly like these, I bought from Discount School Supply last year.  They were about 35 cents each, and work very well. (If you happen to have any inexpensive hair gel, add a squirt or two or three, to each paint bottle.  It makes the paint stay very shiny, even after it is dry.)
  • Cut the paper plates, if necessary, so they fit neatly the inside of the salad spinner.  You may have to scrunch them a bit to get them in and out.
  • Place one of the plates into the spinner for a child.  (Or if she is old enough, perhaps you can instruct the child to do this alone.)
  • Ask the child to select the colors he or she would like to use, and to squirt a bit of each color onto the top of the plate.  This was the tricky part for me.  I wanted the children to feel free to use the paint just as they wished, but if they used too much, there wouldn't be any room on the plate for the little "rivers" to extend out from the pool in the middle! I decided to just try to warn them about the "dangers" of too much paint and hope for the best.  They did pretty well!

  • Have a helper hold an extra paper plate over the top of the spinner if it doesn't have a top, as sometimes the paint does tend to fly out a bit.

  • The child holds the spinner handle in one hand and with the other pulls the string in and out and in and out . . .
  • Ta da!!!

  • If you wish you could of course, add glitter to the wet paint.  Glitter makes everything even better, right?  : )
  • After these gorgeous wings dried, the children chose a bird body which I had pre-cut these out of construction paper.  They glued the body and wings to a large piece of sky, and added a small orange beak and feathers.  Our students also liked the idea of adding clouds to the sky so we used some old pillow stuffing for that.  You could also add pipe cleaner feet or string for nest making to the beak . . .  the sky is the limit! 

I hope you have fun making some Spinny Birds too!

1 comment:

Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )