DIY Wooly Willy

Let’s put a DIY spin on this classic toy. Create your own character with customizable hair, beards, eyebrows – the possibilities are endless, and really silly!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 petri dish. 90-100 mm works best (This is a little tricky to find. Try online or at a teacher supply store.)

½ tsp iron shavings

1 magnetic wand or create your own (see below)

1 sheet of paper

And here’s how it’s done (See the video instructions here):

  1. Trace a circle using the bottom of the dish as the size guide.
  2. Draw and color a silly face on the circle. Tip: when drawing your character, don’t give them any hair or facial hair! The iron filings will make this at the end. All your face really need is eyes, nose, and a mouth! It doesn’t even have to be human! Draw a cat or an alien – whatever you’d like!
  3. Cut out the circle and place the circle on the bottom of the petri dish, face up.
  4. Shake some iron shavings on top of the drawn picture, ½ tsp or less.
  5. Replace the lid of the petri dish. To avoid spills, you can tape the lid in place.
  6. Use a magnet wand underneath the petri dish to move the shavings – the hair – around your character’s face!

To make your own magnet wand:

  1. Find a small dowel, stick, or even the end of a pencil.
  2. Find one small magnet the same size as the end of your dowel.
  3. Glue the magnet to the end of the dowel.
  4. Done! It’s a magnet wand!

Sometimes the iron filings get under the paper and collect at the bottom of the dish. Try cutting your paper circle to fit as close to the edges of the dish as possible. In the Winkle Crate, we used sticker paper to prevent this from happening, but you could try gluing or taping the paper to your dish so the filings can’t sneak underneath.

Also, if your filings aren’t following the magnet wand well, you might need to try a different strength or size magnet.

We’d love to see your projects! Send a picture of your project to us on Instagram or Facebook, and we might even share it on our page. Don’t forget to check out our Pinterest and YouTube channel while you’re at it.

Parents – subscribe to the Winkle Crate to get four STEM projects like this delivered right to your door every month. Our projects always have video instructions to make learning STEM fun and accessible to everyone.

Have fun!

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