Make A Spinning Top

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In this activity, learners design and build a toy top out of simple, everyday materials and have the option to use the toy as an artistic tool. Prototype and test different designs for a spinning top and explore the ways different materials influence how the toy moves. Activity includes step-by-step instructions and ideas for additional, creative extensions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • CD
  • Paper plate, carboard circle, or plastic lid for the body of your top
  • Pencil, crayon, or marker for the axis of your top
  • Paper
  • Optional: marble, bouncy ball, or even an acorn
  • Pennies
  • Tape
  • Hot glue
  • Box or plastic tub
  • Paint (in a squeeze bottle)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Games


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Discovery At Home


  • All rights reserved, Discovery Museum, 2020