Shapley Paper Spirals

Take your party from flat to 3D in seconds! Creating these deliriously easy, bouncy sculptures practices math and small motor skills too.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Child-safe scissors like these found on Amazon - For children 4 years and up
  2. Scrap pieces of paper - Any kind and color, about 4 to 6 inches in size to fit small hands. We used assorted construction paper, white printer paper, and non-toxic, metallic origami paper like this to make our spirals. Left-over wrapping paper like this assorted pack is festive too!
  3. Sharpened pencils
  4. Round-shaped item such as a large cup or small bowl for tracing circle shapes - Approximately 4 to 6 inches in size to fit your paper
  1. Skilly Spark:  Check out this piece of paper. It’s very flat, yes? Let’s see how you can use your scissors and make it into three dimensions-- a dangling shape called a spiral, helix, or corkscrew. Chat about how you think it could look. Imagine spirals from triangles, squares or rectangles ...
  2. Let’s start by tracing a circle on the paper. Ask your child draw with a pencil around your round cup or bowl to make a circle. Now, ask them to cut out the circle.
  3. Make your spiral by cutting the circle of paper from its edge toward the center about ¼ to ½ inch round and round. You may want to show your little one how this is done first. Let the spiral fall as you cut so you don’t cut it in half.
  4. After creating a few round spirals, switch it up and draw a triangle on a piece of paper and cut it out.
  5. Cut the triangle from about ¼ inch from the following the edges toward the center.
  6. Now, try a square shape! Draw it on a piece of paper and cut it from the outside-in just like you did with your other shapes.
  7. Keep making and cutting dangly shapes until your preschooler’s interest wanes.
Keep the fun going
  • Biggest and smallest - Make spirals that are teeny tiniest and as huge as you possibly can.
  • Spiral party! See how many dangling shapes you can your friends make together and decorate. Hang your sculptures separately or together like garlands on places like windows, ceilings or walls.
  • Are your ornaments missing something? Take two spirals and connect them together with tape at their widest ends. Drape them over the ornament and now it has extra pizazz! Use silver and gold paper for Christmas or red for Valentine’s or blue for Hanukkah ....
  • Where else can you find spirals in your world? How about the stairs in your apartment buidling or even when a toilet flushes!