Here’s an update of a bullroarer, an ancient noisemaker dating to the Paleolithic period and found in many cultures around the world. When a thin, wooden paddle is whirled around on a string it creates a roaring sound with a cool 360° “surround sound” effect. This version is based on a mid-20th-century cardboard toy premium and makes a fun flapping sound: the faster you whirl it around, the louder and higher the buzz!

Step 1

You can download and print out this Makey bot version seen above, or this blank version to finish with your own graphics. Paste it onto a piece of thin cardboard. Then cut out the noisemaker on the solid black line. Be sure to also cut the slit in the center.

Step 2

Assemble: To make a nose weight, place a penny where indicated and fold the tabs over and into the slit. Bend the nose tab and wing tips up and the flapper fingers down. Turn the plane over and hook the flapper onto the fingers. The plane body will be slightly curved. Punch a small hole at the edge of the wing (it’s much easier to see the outlined circle of where to hole punch on the blank version linked above) and tie on a string or monofilament.

Step 3

Whirl the noisemaker around and around over your head. Start slowly to get the flapper going and then speed up and down to change the sound.

Warning: The flapping sound and whirling action make this an irresistible cat toy!