Spirograph: Why We Still Love It After 50 Years (Top Toy Review)

Spirograph is the geometric drawing toy that has helped kids make mesmerizing works of art since 1965. Chances are, you either had one growing up or had a friend who did. Now, as Spirograph celebrates its 50th anniversary, it’s better than ever, and one of our fall Top Toys!

Spirograph uses flat, plastic gears and wheels of different sizes to help you draw curve patterns called hypotrochoids and epitrochoids. To use it, choose two wheels. Place one flat on your piece of paper and hold it in place to serve as the anchor. (Many of our kits include Spiro-putty to anchor it to the paper while you work.) Line up the other wheel either inside or outside the first, and place your pen into one of the holes. Move the gear around the anchor wheel using your pen, and amazing designs will emerge on the page!

See how it works in this video:

Spirograph is a beloved educational toy, known for its roots in both science and math. While Spirograph designs can be described by mathematical equations, at a more basic level, it helps kids recognize patterns and spatial awareness. Children can experiment by predicting how many rotations it will take before the pattern begins overlapping itself, and guessing how a pattern will look based on the gears they choose and which hole they place the pen into. Curiosity about these concepts helps kids develop a foundation for learning advanced mathematical concepts later in life.

“Math is about ideas – formulas are just a way to express them. Math becomes difficult and discouraging when we focus on definitions over understanding.” —Kalid Azad, Developing Your Intuition for Math

Check out more math activities using Spirograph.

Spirograph Deluxe Kit

On the art side, Spirograph is a one-stop design tool kids and adults can use to make unique wall decorations, greeting cards, holiday ornaments, wrapping paper, gift tags, and much more! Kids can experiment with design elements like color combinations and pattern overlaps. Spirograph is a relaxing, creative activity for adults and kids to do together.

Indulge your nostalgia for this classic art tool, and introduce Spirograph to a new generation of kids!

Happy spiraling,

--Becki

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