Guest Author - Deborah L. Kompare
Finally, spring is in the air here. For us, spring means flowers, green grass, trees getting their leaves and the chance to fly kites. There are so many other ways to enjoy crafts that will give you pleasure watching them blow around in the air. These can be windsocks, twirlers and windchimes.
Your windsocks can be as simple as a piece of construction paper that you decorate and then attach some streamers. This is something the younger children could do. You may want to keep them indoors near a window since they are not that sturdy. The Crayola Crayon website suggests making some that have wild animal prints on them, after reading some stories about wild animals. DLTK�s Crafts for Kids has one that looks like a butterfly. They suggest using craft foam and the windsock will hold up outside much better. Use this idea if you are studying butterflies or read a story about them. Not all windsocks are for decorative use only. I have added a link at the end of this article that shows you how to make a windsock and a weather vane. It is a nice, short article that would help your student, or Scout, work on projects for various subjects.
The things I call twirlers are any of the decorative items that can hang and �twirl� in the breeze, but are not windsocks or flags. I�ve seen some pretty fancy ones that change colors or patterns while twirling. In this category, you could also add pinwheels. Both of these are easy to make and you probably have materials at home readily available. FamilyFun.com has a very clear and simple set of instructions on how to make twirlers from coffee can lids (http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=10439). It is listed as a Fourth Of July project, but by simply changing colors, you could make these for any season As for the pinwheels, Enchanted Learning has some very easy to follow instructions, including pictures and how to decorate them (http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/pinwheel/).
A few years ago, I made a twirler from plastic canvas. It was fairly labor intensive, but worth the work involved. I gave it as a gift and the person is still enjoying it to this day. She did put it into a fairly protected area, but it looks so nice when it spins. I used different colors of plastic canvas to make the different vanes on the twirler. I did not have chimes at the bottom of mine, but it is a nice idea to add them if you like them.
Wind chimes are a favorite of mine and they can be made from so many different items. You could use something as simple as a Styrofoam cup with some old metal washers tied onto it. You could get kits and paint your own. When I was in the hospital, the volunteer who did craft night brought several sizes of flower pots and some coarse rope in and we made wind chimes. First, you decorated the flower pots, remembering the pots will be upside down. When you are done, string the rope through the holes and knot it inside and outside the pot. Put the pots onto the rope with the largest pot on top. This really makes a nice soft sound in the wind. I still have mine from 2 years ago, but it is on our deck which is somewhat protected from any strong winds.
I hope you are able to enjoy the coming of the warmer weather at the same time you get to enjoy making some of these crafts. Stop by the forum to let me know what projects you have tried-I love hearing from my readers!