Resources needed:

  • Square of coloured paper
  • Push pin
  • Pencil with eraser end
  • Stapler


  1. Show the children some pictures of windmills and discuss the common design features: they must be light enough to turn in the breeze, the sail part should be big enough to catch the wind, the pivot must be able to turn freely etc.
  2. Explain to the children that they are going to make their own windmill following the steps you show them.
  3. Using the square of paper, the children should fold if on each diagonal as shown.

Teaching point: Remind the children to make their folding as accurate as possible.

  1. Now the children should cut from each corner all the way down to about 2cm short of the mid-point.
  2. Now fold each corner down to the middle of the square.
  3. Staple the windmill twice right in the centre to hold the sails in place.
  4. Push the pin through the middle of the paper and then into the eraser end of the pencil.


Further Activities:

Ask the children to write a clear set of instructions for what they just made.

Set some research on windmills for homework – how many different kinds are there and what are their uses?

Explore different materials and how they affect the success of the windmill.

Curriculum Areas covered:

The national curriculum for design and technology aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users § critique, evaluate and test their ideas and products and the work of others


  • design purposeful, functional, appealing products for themselves and other users based on design criteria
  • generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology


  • select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing]
  • select from and use a wide range of materials and components, including construction materials, textiles and ingredients, according to their characteristics


  • explore and evaluate a range of existing products
  • evaluate their ideas and products against design criteria Technical knowledge
  • build structures, exploring how they can be made stronger, stiffer and more stable

§ explore and use mechanisms [for example, levers, sliders, wheels and axles], in their products.