Spirograph Shrinky Dinks (Spiral Unplugged Project)

By , February 28, 2010 9:40 pm


I promised another Spiral Unplugged Project post and I am finally here with it – at the eleventh hour (a new Monthly Unplugged Project theme begins tomorrow)!

All day yesterday I was looking after four girls in addition to my own two girls (my son was very happy to escape this overdose of estrogen by fleeing to a friend’s house).

The age of the girls ranged from 4 to 11 and after boredom appeared to be setting in, I tried this totally retro idea out on them:  Spirograph Shrinky Dinks.  Just 3 words:  THEY-LOVED-IT.

I had bought some shrink plastic at a Michael’s craft store on my last trip to the big city.  We pinned the Spirograph rings on to the plastic sheets with no problems.  NOTE:  The frosted type of paper worked out best with markers, the shiny white tended to smear.

Since my original Spirograph ball point pens were long dead after 30+ years, I had also bought some fine point Sharpies in many different colors and they worked great!  The tip was small and long enough to fit through the holes in the Spirograph disks and produce beautiful results.

Before they went in the oven, we punched holes in some of the finished Shrinky Dinks.  A regular one-hole paper punch works fine and, once shrunk, produces a hole large enough for a thread or fine wire.   If you need to thread on something larger than that, then punch several times to make a bigger hole.

The girls strung them on thread to make necklaces.  I actually have an even fancier idea in mind, so check back!

If you like this, then be sure to read my original Spirograph post.  To find out how to make your own Shrinky Dink plastic from home trash, don’t miss my Homemade Shrinky Dinks post!

5 Responses to “Spirograph Shrinky Dinks (Spiral Unplugged Project)”

  1. Teresa Casalino says:

    Brilliant! You go girl!! um, I mean GIRLS!!

  2. Andree says:

    Love them! They sure are lucky to have you around.
    .-= Andree´s last blog ..Unplugged Project: Spirograph =-.

  3. Mom Unplugged says:

    Oh thank you Andrée! I am glad to see you back here. I hope you’ll join in for “sphere,” I’d love to know more about the math of that one. Happy World Math Day!

  4. Mom Unplugged says:

    Thank you! We had fun!

  5. Claire in Tasmania says:

    Wow spirographs! I had some when I was really little. Amongst my earliest memories….
    For us, ‘spiral’ just ended up being a sort of monthly theme. We found a surprising number of spirals around the place, and my nearly-3yo made his first attempt at following a line by drawing over a huge spiral I drew. Not entirely successful, though, because I’m right handed and he’s left handed and I forgot that meant he’d need spirals drawn the opposite way around (clockwise instead of anticlockwise) – which is really hard to do…

    We also photographed a sunflower (which has fibonacci spirals in the seed pattern) at different times of the day, following the sun, but I haven’t got around to printing the photos to show him.

    I need to come up with something a bit more official for ‘sphere’, I think…

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