Wind chimes use nature to make their music; as breezes blow, chimes sing their song. Make a wind chime with kids to teach them the wonder of connecting art with science. Start the project by explaining how different objects can create their own tones when crossed with wind. Let your kids make objects using modelling clay for their wind chimes, or supply them with ordinary objects and some paint so they can transform everyday finds into works of art.
Give each kid a stick that is approximately 12 inches long, or provide each child with a wooden spoon. You can substitute a wire coat hanger instead of the stick or spoon, if desired.
Provide the kids with a collection of small objects to hang on their wind chimes that make various tones, such as pieces of wood, ceramic objects, clay tiles or pieces of metal. Let the children add to the collection by searching for small objects outdoors, in toy boxes or in crafting supplies that can be threaded with yarn, such as jingle bells, seashells, old keys, big buttons, toy cars or metal key rings.
Instruct each kid to design the layout of his wind chime by placing his objects in six columns. Tell him to think about which objects will be next to one another and how the objects will sound when they strike against each other in the wind.
Cut six pieces of yarn in lengths ranging from 12 to 18 inches for each wind chime. Instruct each child to start at the top of a column and thread the first object on a piece of yarn. Extend the first object down 6 inches and tie a knot around the object or at its base. Continue adding the rest of the objects for that piece of yarn, leaving approximately 1 inch of space between each object. Add a knot around or below each object.
Continue with the remaining five pieces of yarn. Lay the strings of objects on a hard surface in the order they will be placed on the wind chime, with 2 inches between each one. Place the stick, spoon or coat hanger perpendicular to the top of the columns of objects. Wrap each piece of yarn around the stick, spoon or hanger until you reach the length you want the objects to hang. Tie a knot in each piece of yarn to hold it in place.
Cut an 18-inch piece of yarn and tie it to the centre of the wind chime. Use the yarn to hang the stick or wooden spoon from a tree, doorframe or hook. If you made your wind chime with a coat hanger, hang the wind chime using the hook at the top of the wind chime. Hang the wind chime in a breezy spot.
You can instruct the kids to choose a theme for their wind chimes, such as using objects of a single colour or objects with names that begin with a single letter. This encourages critical-thinking skills.
Do not attempt to hang objects that weigh more than a few ounces on the wind chime, or the wind chime will be too heavy to move in the breeze. Help the kids decide if the objects are too heavy.
Tips and warnings
- You can instruct the kids to choose a theme for their wind chimes, such as using objects of a single colour or objects with names that begin with a single letter. This encourages critical-thinking skills.
- Do not attempt to hang objects that weigh more than a few ounces on the wind chime, or the wind chime will be too heavy to move in the breeze. Help the kids decide if the objects are too heavy.