Make A Paper Whirly Bird

Use construction paper to create colorful whirly birds.

A whirly bird takes little time and effort to make and provides hours of fun as you release it and watch it twirl through the air. It also costs almost nothing because you don’t need anything other than paper to make one. It won’t last through as many crashes as plastic toys, but you can make as many as you want. A whirly bird also demonstrates scientific concepts such as gravity and air movement, making it a good learning tool.


1. Place the paper so that one short side is closest to you. Align a ruler against the opposite short edge. Measure and mark the middle point, which is located 1 inch from either side. Name this Point A.

2. Align your ruler against one long side of the paper and find the middle point, which is located 4 1/4 inches from either side. Do the same with the other long side and draw a line between the two points. Name this Line A.

3. Find the middle point of Line A and name it Point B. Draw a line from Point A down to Point B; cut along this line.

4. Align your ruler against Line A. Draw a line 5/8 inch in length from one side and do the same with the other side. Name the end points Point C and Point D. Cut from one edge to Point C and from the other edge to Point D so that the only the middle portion of Line A connects the top and bottom halves of the paper.

5. Fold the two left and right portions of the top half of the paper along Line A so that they face opposite sides. These flaps will serve as the blades of the whirly bird.

6. Draw a straight, vertical line from Points C and D downward until you reach the bottom short side of the paper. Fold the two paper flaps toward each other along these two lines. Put a paper clip at the bottom end of the paper to hold these flaps in place.

7. Use coloring pencils and crayons to decorate the whirly bird.

8. Hold the whirly bird with the blades on top and the end with the paper clip at the bottom. Toss the whirly bird into the air or drop from an elevated height.