Virtual Community Lab: Building a Whirlygig


  • Large plastic buttons
  • Any symmetrical shape will work.  Hearts will not work.
  • Strong string/twine 


String and Button Activity

1. Thread one end of the string through one buttonhole and the other end of the string through the hole that is diagonal from the first one they threaded the string through.  See red arrows. NOTE: If the holes are next to each other it will not work. 

2. Knot the two ends of the string together close to the end of the string halves. 

3. Move the button so it is in the middle of the string loop. 

4. Hold each end of the loop in one hand. 

5. Move one of your hands in a forward circular motion to twist the string. 

6. Gently pull on both ends of the string and rhythmically to pull and relax the tension on the string as the button spins.  

Note: It will take a few minutes to get a good feel for how hard to pull and the timing of pulling and relaxing the string, but keep trying and you will get it down in no time!


Let’s see who can keep their whirligig going the longest! Take a video of your whirligig skills and post to social media with the hashtag #BiogenCommunityLab