Of all the basket surprises I would get growing up, I will always remember the little paper spinner top my grandma put in mine one year. My grandmother on my father’s side (full blooded German) had ten children and those children would give her over twenty grandbabies.

Even with all those grandchildren, she still found time to make us all Easter surprises, which included our own baskets. There were sugar eggs and carved out of the middle she would add tiny little toy bunnies and jellybeans, and string eggs that were made from balloons. My grandma’s house was always decorated for Easter celebrations. In my basket that year when I pulled out that little handmade spinner, at first I did not know what to do with it, and as soon as I was taught how it worked…I could not get enough of it.

 We even turned it into a game of which outlasted the others. It kept the kids busy while the adults got the giant table outside ready for our Easter meal. It is funny how those little inexpensive gifts turn out to be the best and most entertaining…like a giant empty box, kids love those.

To make your own toothpick spinner tops, you will need:

Cardstock (scrapbook paper) or white poster board, wrapping paper, or decorative paper



Glue stick

Crayons or markers (optional)

Milk jug lid to trace over

Thick sewing needle or thumbtack

  Step one: Trace several circles from your lid. I picked two colors to work with. Once you have traced everything, cut out your circles, then start gluing your two paper designs together.



Step two: You will need a sharp needle or thumbtack to poke a hole in the center, this will make it easier for the toothpick to go through. Don’t forget to cut your toothpick in half. After you have poked a hole you can add your toothpick.


 Step three: If you like to keep things simple, then cutting circles from white poster board and decorating your spinner tops yourself with markers and crayons can also be a lot of fun. Write little messages on it and spin it before you hand it to someone, when the spinning is over they can see the message.



Special note:

   If you ever do ABA therapy, then this simple little project makes a great reinforcement toy. This was one of my favorite toys to use in ABA therapy when working with children with special needs. Be careful though, if it is too much of an obsession then it is hard to stay focused. The spinner tops can be mesmerizing.


Toothpick Spinner Tops