Site Navigation

Your Account

Choose Language


Minor Versionm

by Procheta Mallik


Make a few notches near one end of a pencil using a paper knife. Use a pin and a stopper to fix a cardboard Newton disc at the same end. Rubbing an ice cream stick / skewer over the notches will make the Newton Disc spin. This is an age-old Native American folk toy called "gee-haw whammy diddle".

    • Use the cutter with utmost care. Always make sure you are cutting away from your body with only a max of 2 cm of the cutter blade exposed. Use a solid surface (floor or table) when you are using the cutter and do not cut in the air. While cutting, place the items as far away as possible from other parts of your (or others’) body.

    • Handle the scissor with care

    • Be mindful of the all pin

    Add Comment

  1. Make 6 ‘V’ shaped notches (3-5mm wide) in the pencil with the help of a cutter.
    • Make 6 ‘V’ shaped notches (3-5mm wide) in the pencil with the help of a cutter.

    • The notches should be made such that you can see the pencil's lead.

    • These notches should be at the eraser-end of the pencil.

    • Leave a gap of about 2mm between the notches.

    Vishal: Add a photo showing the cutting - the cutter held at the two angles.

    Procheta Mallik - Reply

    • Cut different kinds of spinners/fans out of cardboard sheets (rectangular, circular, star shaped etc), each having a diameter of about 5-8 cm.

    • Make a small hole at the centre of the fan using a paper puncher.

    • You have also been given a square colour-disc sticker. Paste it onto a cardboard piece and cut into a circle, maintaining the original square centre as the centre of the circle

    Vishal: use a different color for marking the holes.

    Procheta Mallik - Reply

    • Place the hole of the fan in the all pin.

    • Insert the all pin into the eraser of the pencil.

    • Make sure there is enough room for the fan to spin.

    Vishal: a photo for each substep - (1) cardsheet into the pin through the hole (2) pin into the pencil

    Procheta Mallik - Reply

    • With one hand, firmly hold the pencil as far away from the notches as possible. In the other hand, hold the ice-cream stick piece and rub it back and forth with pressure on the notches.

    • The fan should start to rotate fast and freely.

    Vishal: can we show hand position in the photo?

    Procheta Mallik - Reply

    • Holding the pencil too close to the notches / Holding the pencil too tightly or loosely.

    • Holding the ice-cream stick too loosely and far away from the notches.

    • Notches are not deep enough.

    • Notches are too far apart or too few.

    • Fan is too big/heavy.

    • Hole in the fan is too small or not centred.

    • Not rubbing with optimum speed, pressure or vigour.

    Vishal: reorder to place 4th (holding the pencil....) and 7th (holding the ice-cream....) on the top since these are most common issues.

    Procheta Mallik - Reply

    • How can you change the direction of rotation? Try applying pressure at different zones of the notches to see if you can change the direction.

    • Rub the ice-cream stick in one direction only and observe what happens.

    • Can you make it spin even if you hold the pencil vertically?

    • Which kind of fan rotates faster?

    • What will happen if you hold the pencil firmly below the notches?

    • Can you make it spin by rhythmically striking the pencil instead of rubbing?

    • What would happen if the notches were made orthogonal (perpendicular) to the direction in which you rub the stick?

    Add Comment

    • Make 'U' shaped notches instead of 'V' shaped.

    • Make the notches farther apart.

    • Make the toy (as it was done traditionally) using a twig instead of a pencil.

    Add Comment

    • Make fewer notches.

    • Make shallower notches.

    • Make the hole in the spinner off-centre.

    Add Comment

    • Vary the size of the hole in the fan and observe its effect.

    • Make a 2-way spinner, say with a tree twig which has two branches.

    • Combine this with our other TACtivity, Gravity - Spinning Magnet, and see if you can make both spinners rotate by rubbing the spoke on the pencil!

    Add Comment

Finish Line

One other person completed this guide.

Kailash NR

Member since: 05/02/2017

2,989 Reputation

67 Guides authored


Add Comment