By combining the green of spring, the wind of March, and the month's only major holiday, Saint Patrick's Day, you and your children can usher in the new season by learning how to make a windsock.
First, since most of us know about wearing green on March 17, but very little else about the history of the day, you may want to start with a bit of literature. Two of the best books you can choose to read with your kids are "St. Patrick's Day" by Gail Gibbons and "Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland" by Tomie dePaola. Both authors are extremely well respected and have written numerous well-received children's books. Both books explain some history of Ireland, Patrick, shamrocks, and the "wearin' of the green."
Next, you will need to gather a few supplies, many of which you can find around your house, and a few others that you can get at your local craft store for around five dollars.
one plastic two-liter bottle
1½ yards fishing line or kite string
one sheet green craft foam (at least 6" by 15")
foam shamrock stick-ons
green, orange, and/or white ribbons
one fishing swivel or paper clip
hot glue gun (optional)
After gathering your supplies, cut the top and bottom off of your two-liter bottle. (Remember to determine which steps may be too dangerous for your child to complete by him or herself.) Next cut your large green foam piece to the same size as your bottle, and hot glue the foam to the bottle, covering it in its entirety. If you prefer not to use hot glue, you can simply staple the foam to the bottle. Now for the part your child will most enjoy, decorate the green foam with your shamrock stickers.
When the main part of your windsock is fully decorated, you are ready to add the ribbons to the bottom. Measure and cut six to ten pieces of ribbon, each approximately two to three feet in length. Using your stapler, attach the ribbons to the inside of one end of the bottle. Space the ribbons so that they are all about the same distance from each other.
On the top end of the bottle, use your hole-puncher to punch three equidistant holes. Make sure holes are at least one-half inch from the top edge so they do not rip through. Thread fishing line or kite string through one hole, through the fishing swivel, back through the next hole, back to the swivel, through the final hole, and then tie at the swivel. If you do not have a swivel, you can use a paper clip, but the paper clip does not allow the windsock to spin in the wind as well as the swivel.
Finally, make about a three-inch loop of fishing line or kite string and tie it to the top of the swivel or paperclip. Now you are ready to hang your spring windsock for all to enjoy. It can be hung from a pole, bird feeder, garden hook, or a hook under the eaves of your house. For a longer lasting life, it is recommended that you hang your windsock in a somewhat sheltered location.
As you watch your windsock this spring, talk with your child about its behavior in the wind. What does it show? Talk about wind speed and direction. Does the windsock always blow the same way? If you have a compass, try going outside with it and stand next to the windsock. Can you and your child use these tools to determine wind direction?
Good luck with your windsock activity, and here is to hoping the March winds really do blow in a wonderful spring.
Article provided by Homesteader
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