BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND
A great activity for getting children in touch with nature and the sounds of nature is making wind chimes from a variety of materials. Use wire or nylon fishing line to suspend the chimes. To secure the knots made with the nylon line, add a dot of household glue. With just a little bit of “stuff” you can get your students acquainted with principles of sound, wind, weather, and vibrations of objects in the wind, all with some leftover “junk”. Here are some ideas for your wind chimes.
• Shells: For a wind chime made with shells, use nylon line to suspend shells from a plastic lid. Use a fine drill to make holes in the shells; simply poke holes in the plastic lid. Decorate lid with more shells, glued on with household cement.
• Tin Can Lids: For this wind chime, use a wood crossbar and cut all sizes of can lids for the chimes. Paint with enamel if desired. Punch holes in lids with a nail and hammer. Attach chimes to wood crossbar with nylon string and thumbtacks.
• Venetian Blinds: Use kitchen shears or tin snips to cut pieces from mini blinds or other blinds. Use a longer piece for the crossbar and shorter ones for the chimes. Punch holes using a paper punch or nail and hammer. Suspend chimes using nylon line.
• Pill Bottles: Hang plastic pill bottles around the bottom of an inverted plastic flowerpot. To make holes in the flowerpot and the bottoms of the pill bottles, use a heated needle. Push the end of a piece of nylon line through the bottom of the bottle, and then tie on a bead or piece of toothpick so that line can’t slip back through hole. Tie the other end to the flowerpot.
WHAT CAN YOU THINK OF TO MAKE YOUR WIND CHIME FROM?
KITCHEN GADGET CHIMES
What you will need
- 1 Whisk that you no longer use
- 10-12 Book rings (the metal rings that students sometimes hang index cards on)
- 1-2 Spools of colored ribbon (preferably spring colors!)
- Beads, foam shapes or other decorations
While these are the items we used for our wind chime, you can absolutely make substitutions depending on what you have on hand. For example, if you don’t have book rings, try using old keys or other metal items. Just make sure that the noise you’ll hear when they hit each other doesn’t make you cringe!
What to do?
1. Slip one of your book rings over the skinny end of the whisk and pull it down as far as it will go over the wire arms.
2. Cut 10-12 pieces of ribbon in varying lengths.
3. Tie one piece of ribbon at each point where the ring crosses an arm of the whisk. We alternated our green and yellow ribbons!
4. Using a double knot, tie a book ring at the bottom end of each ribbon. Make sure that the rings hang low enough to hit their neighbors – the wind chime will sound as the rings tap against each other in a breeze. For added decoration, slip 1-3 beads onto the ribbon before tying it onto the ring.
5. Add whatever decorations you’d like!
HANGIN’ UP A TUNE
What is needed:
• colored string
• coat hanger
• things to hang on your wind chime like: old silverware, soda cans, old CDs, nuts and bolts, and anything else you can find that you think would make a neat noise and is pretty small.
1. To start, arrange your objects on the table and think which ones you want to hang on your wind chime.
2. For example, you could make a wind chime using silverware, a potato peeler, rings, nuts and bolts, a cookie cutter, an old CD and a few soda cans. (Make sure the soda cans are rinsed out before using them.)
3. You can even paint your soda cans so they really stand out.
4. When the cans are dry, tie a piece of string to the tab on top of each can.
5. Now tie a piece of string onto the other objects you want to hang on your wind chime. Make the strings different lengths.
6. Arrange your items on the hanger. The heavier items should be towards the middle so it’s balanced.
7. Now hang your wind chime outside to see how it sounds. Make any changes that you think might work better.
8. Experiment until your wind chime sounds just the way you want. Enjoy!