When the Wind Blows
When April winds blow, enjoy some outdoor play with these educational and fun projects especially designed for blustery spring days.
Stained-Glass Kite Decoration
If your family is looking for springtime activities, enjoy the season’s gusty days to have some outdoor fun with your children while teaching them about wind through projects and learning exercises. Hold up your hands together and ask your children: Can you feel the wind? Yes, you can feel the moving air molecules. Can you see the wind? No, the moving air is invisible. Can you hear the wind? What sound does it make? Ask your child what happens when he or she holds up a pinwheel, flag, or wind chime?
Wind is moving air. And there are ways that you can create wind without the help of Mother Nature: blow with your mouth, inflate a balloon and allow the air to escape through the opening, use a fan at varying speeds, or use an air pump. While making the crafts below, discuss how wind affects the project, or talk about how the project reminds you of a windy day.
Making art with your child is always a wonderful way to bond, and this project is no exception. After you’ve completed your kite, hang it in a sunny window and watch the colors light up your room.
To make your kite, first cut a large piece of waxed paper in the shape of a diamond. Affix masking tape in the shape of a cross or “T” shape (down the kite’s centerlines both length-wise, and width-wise) on both the kite’s front and back for bracing (the masking tape helps prevent the waxed paper from curling). Invite your child to cut out different shapes from a variety of colorful tissue paper. Assist him in painting the front side of this kite with liquid laundry starch (if starch is not available, mixing white school glue and water will work). Together, arrange the tissue-paper pieces—mosaic style—on the diamond-shaped wax paper. Cover the entire surface with the laundry starch or glue and water.
After the kite has dried, attach a length of ribbon (you can use tape or thread) down the bottom front for a tail. Cut out strips of fabric and tie them to the ribbon.
This is mainly a spring decoration, but your kite can also fly if you simply punch two holes, one at the top and one at the bottom of your kite (or one on either side); then thread a length of string through the holes as an anchor and tie a long length of string to the center-point of your anchor as a “pull.”
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