Twirlies Twirlies are captivating props because people love to hold, twist and launch them. But before explaining some activities, it’s important to also understand some basic safety issues when using them. SAFETY ISSUES • When people launch a twirlie, if they spin it the wrong way it will “fly down” and hit a thumb or finger. It can be painful. It’s advisable to show people a proper launch motion to avoid this problem. (For most people, if you hold your two hands together palm to palm - with the twirlie between your fingers - you push your right hand forward to launch the twirlie upwards. If you pull your right hand back, the twirlie will chop your thumb.) • When twirlies are airborne, people immediately look up in the air. If they attempt to catch the twirlie before it lands, they typically are not looking around to see if they are going to run into someone or something. If using twirlies with a class, warn people about chasing twirlies without taking time to see who else might be moving around them to avoid collisions. SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES TO GET YOU STARTED: All Catch After some practice launches and catches, ask the group to launch all the twirlies at the same time and see how many they can catch. Record the number each time, and see if the group can devise strategies to increase the number until they can catch them all. If done outside and it’s windy, this activity is very challenging - yet it can be very funny too as the twirlies fly off on the breezes. If you want the group to have any real chance for success, do it indoors or on calm days.
Twirlie Relays Establish a starting line and a finish line (appropriately far apart). All teams start at the same time by launching one twirlie. As soon as that twirlie lands, the next person in the group can run to that spot and launch a second twirlie. This process repeats itself until someone launches a twirlie that lands beyond the finish line. To add a bit of challenge, a team can only finish by catching a twirlie over the line. [Note on distance: twirlies typically do not travel very far. If the finish line is 100 yards away, some groups may get frustrated ad not finish the challenge. Practice with them and assess your group’s skill before choosing a distance that is not too far, but also not too close.]