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The Spin on Spinners: Test Driving Classroom Game Spinners

The Spin on Spinners: Test Driving Classroom Game Spinners

Game spinners can be used in so many ways in a primary classroom. They are a great alternative to dice when you want to focus on specific numbers and concepts and they add fun and fine motor practice to simple practice activities! While I have often use the paperclip and pencil spinner method, which is easy for students to learn, I wanted to try out some store-bought spinners that still allow for customization. I will include an Amazon affiliate link to each of the spinners I tested.

The printed and laminated spinners I used when testing these spinner arrows are 4.25" square. Two of the arrows I tested require making a hole in the middle of the spinner (which was little challenging), one uses a suction cup, and the other is a clear plastic overlay spinner. They all spun smoothly and did the job, but I think each are best suited for particular tasks.

The Spin on Spinners: Test Driving Classroom Game Spinners

These colorful spinner arrows are four inches long. They are reasonably priced for a 12-pack and, once attached to the spinner, work nicely. To use, you must make a hole in the center of your spinner and snap the two parts of the arrow together through the hole. The arrow can easily be removed to use with a different spinner.

These black board game spinner arrows function in the same way as the rainbow arrows above, but they are only three inches long, which worked better for my purposes (as the 4" spinners extended beyond the spinner circle. What I like about this type of arrow is that they stay put, spin smoothly, and lie just above the surface of the spinner, making it easy for children to see which section the arrow has "landed" on.

If you are making games that you want to keep forever, it is probably worth it to use these arrows. If I were going to be rotating my arrows through a variety of spinners, I don't think I'd want to have to make a hole in the center for each one. (To make the hole, I used this extended-reach hole punch which still wasn't quite long enough. The hole also wasn't big enough, so I had to expand it with scissors.)

 BryBelly Rainbow Spinner Arrows      Black Board Game Spinner Arrows

The next arrows I tried are these cute suction cup ones! I wanted these to be the best because they are such a fun idea. These can simply be pressed down onto the center of your spinner before flicking. What I found is that these are fun to use, they just don't stay stuck for very long. To a laminated spinner, the arrow did stick for long enough to spin, but it needed to be pressed down again for each new spin. I tried sticking it to plain paper and it would not stick for more than a brief moment (no surprise), but it stuck for considerably longer to a white board (both horizontal and vertically). These spinners are great if you want students to just be able to grab one and get to work. They might be motivating to some students, which could make up for their lack of stickiness! The only other downfall to these it that the arrow sits up higher from the spinner surface. This makes it a little trickier to see where the spinner is pointing if it's close to a line.

 Suction Cup Spinner Arrows

These last spinners, by ETA hand2mind, are transparent plastic overlay spinners. With these, you can lay them on top of your own spinner (and tape them if you don't want them to shift). This is a super simple way to make anything into a spinner! Another popular use for these is to tape the clear spinner to a CD jewel case. You can then stick any homemade spinner inside the case for a secure and interchangeable spinner solution. These spin smoothly and are, in my opinion, the most versatile and easy of the four spinners I tried. If you'd like to try the CD case option, these Memorex Jewel Cases are great. They come in five colors, which is great for grouping and differentiating, but the front covers are clear, so your spinner inside will be clearly visible.

 ETA hand2mind Clear Spinner

 Clear Spinner on CD Jewel Case

Speaking of spinners, check out my newest resource! These spinner games can be used all year long.

 Spinner Math Games on TPT

Thanks for reading!

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