This thread is collecting sources and ideas for making game spinners and "Wheel of Fortune"-style game boards.

 

These spinners get used in our Bible Skills and Games Workshop. They can have categories, questions, point values, etc., written on them.

 

Our tendency here is to want something that's

 

  • large
  • durable
  • re-usable
  • write-on
  • and inexpensive

While there are some commercially-made spinners, the large/good ones are usually out of Sunday School's price range, so this topic is in the realm of DO IT YOURSELF.

 

If you construct one, please post your photo and where you got the parts.

 

If you post a link to a spinner product, include a photo, and enough info about the site so that if/when the link goes dead, people can search and find it.

Original Post

How to make a large spinning wheel for games using an old "sit and spin" toy:

 

I converted an old "sit and spin" toy. (They still make these for toddlers.)

 

 sit and spin toy for toddlers

Cut off the top part and covered the exposed edge with duct tape. 

 

Used nails for pegs, a door stop for the 'flipper' and fastened to board with bolt.

 

Added numbers.

 

Converted game wheel

 

 

 

A really good blog post that shows step-by-step photos of how to make your own spinning wheel.

 

http://www.doodlecraftblog.com...prize-wheel-diy.html

 

The white surface is dry-erase vinyl that comes in rolls. That's a great idea because it allows you to change how many sections you want on the spinner, and write directly on the spinner.

 

doodle2

 

 

***Only thing I would change in the DIY instructions:  

Use wooden dowel pegs instead of nails on the spinning wheel. Easier on hands and safer when spinning.

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I just wanted to share an inventive and inexpensive resource I discovered this week at the local Dollar Tree (where everything costs a dollar, in case this particular chain doesn't exist in your area.)

 

It is a magnetic spinner... 

about 10.5 inches long, that can attach to a white board. It spins wonderfully.
My mind is already racing with game applications!

 

 spinner

 

This picture is shot slightly from the side so you can see the round plastic disk with magnet on the back, upon which the arrow spins. 

 

If you, like me, don't have anyone to build a Wheel of Fortune-type spinner (or if the cost is prohibitive), you could probably make a poster with the letters, etc. on a dial, and leave a cut-out in the center so the spinner would fit in the center when you attach the poster to the white board. All for only $1! (Or even just draw a wheel on the white board!)

 

Further info: brand is Teaching Tree. Manufacturer/distributor listed on the back of the package is Greenbrier International Inc in Cheasapeake, VA.

 

There are several styles in addition to the spinner I initially purchased. There is one with a crayon as the spinner, another with a pencil, and also a Seuss-ish arm with striped sleeve and pointing finger. I actually returned to Dollar Tree today to buy several more; if I love this tool as much as I think I will, I'm going to want backups not only for children's ministry but for the Latin classes I teach!

 

Dollar Tree has also been a great source for large foam game die and packages of inexpensive die cuts--for instance, of fish--that can be used in all kinds of games. I've found many treasures for our drama prop box as well--helmets, shields and swords for the battle of Jericho, the Fiery Furnace (for the soldiers who tossed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in); bird masks for the ravens in the Elijah story, etc.

 

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Game Wheel Spinner

 

 

wheel 

 

 

 

 Game Wheel Directions

 

 

Notes:Overview of Base

  • The wheel is cut from a thick, flat piece of plywood, and mounted by a singe, large wood bolt to a sturdy base.  It is certainly possible to modify these plans, as we just used materials we already had on available.
  • Plywood comes in sheets 48" wide, so that may limit how wide a disc you can have without becoming more creative. The base needs to be large enough to be secure, and give plenty of floor contact to make a stable platform.
  • It is nice to have no feet "sticking out" from under the disc, except for the center foot that supports the flapper post.
  • Make sure the three 'feet' are the same thickness; otherwise it may not sit well on the floor.
  • Use flat and straight boards. If the plywood is not flat, it will bind when it spins.

 


Assembly:

  • Sizes of drill bits or screws are not specified, so you should use your judgement depending on the materials you will use.
  • Pilot holes should be drilled for the screws to prevent the wood from splitting and make for easy assembly.
  • You may also use glue, along with screws, to attach the 'feet' to the base.
  • Make sure that no screws protrude anywhere.
  • The hole in the disc for the wood bolt should be barely large enough to allow the bolt to pass without restriction, but just barely.  You don't want it to bind, but you also want to decrease the potential wobble.
  • When drilling the single hole in the base to accept the wood bolt, make sure that you do not drill this hole too large.  Once you adjust the tightness of the bolt, you want it to remain secure.
  • The washers need to be very smooth, with the center hole large enough to cleanly allow the bolt to pass without binding.
  • Use some lubricating oil on the washers.
  • Make sure the disc turns easily to where it can rotate a few times before stopping. If it is too loose, it will wobble.  Too tight, and it won't turn well.  This will require some fine-tuning with the tightness of the wood bolt, so have pliers or a wrench handy.
  • You may need to experiment with the number of washers above and below the disc for optimum performance.

 


Flapper:Flapper

  • The kerf in the longer foot is where the flapper is located.  It can be further secured with a screw from the side.  This will also enable the flapper to be easily replaced if worn out.
  • We found that the thick plastic from one of the sturdier baby wipe containers serves as a good flapper.  This is Tupperware-like plastic.  It needs to be pliable, but firm.  Tough, but not brittle. You might want to cut 2 or 3 extra in case....

 


Dowels:Dowels

  • Dowels that are smaller than 3/8" can easily break when grasped enthusiastically for turning the wheel.
  • The number of dowels will be determined by the number of 'wedges' you want on the wheel.
  • You want the pegs to be uniform.  A drill press, or some other jig, will help keep the holes perpendicular to the disc, so the pegs will all be straight.  I easily drilled the holes with a drill press after the wheel was assembled, simply spinning the disc under the bit to the location of the next hole....

 


Finishing:

  • Smooth rough edges and corners of the wood wherever possible.
  • Paint the wheel as desired.  We elected not to paint on numbers or letters.  To make the wheel more versatile, we used Velcro dots to attach cards with points.  We can change the cards to letters, or pictures, or words, etc.
  • We applied a rubberized non-skid material (carpet padding) for the bottoms of the 'feet' to reduce sliding when the wheel is spun.

 


 

Designed by Paul Derden

pderden@chartertn.net

State Street UMC

300 W. Valley Drive

Bristol, VA 24201

Printed from Rotation.org

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Wow  Maybe it's only because my classes tend to be very small, but I used permanent markers to section off a Lazy Susan from a cheap home goods store and added an non-moving arrow to show the selection.

Post Its make great labels for the sections and can be changed to whatever is appropriate for the game.

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