With temperatures in the triple digits and my AC unit on the fritz at home, I find myself longing for anything at all that might give me a break from the heat. Since I can’t have the kids dunk me in ice water for our craft program, (although I’m getting quite tempted to head over to the Community Center Splash Pad on my lunch break…) I decided to do a program about the one thing that makes a hot day bearable: wind. Which we, of course, didn’t have today. Just still, hot, humid air. It really was a miserable day to be outside. I am ever so grateful for air conditioning at work!
There are a decent number of books about wind. Unfortunately, many of them seem to focus on cold autumn or winter wind. And while that sounds lovely right about now, those books didn’t feel relevant. But that’s okay. I was still able to find enough books to fill up the program.
- First up was Whoosh Went the Wind! by Sally Derby, a tale that reminds adults to check into a child’s story before assuming it’s a lie.
- One Leaf Rides the Wind by Celeste Mannis, while really more about a Japanese garden than about wind, is a highly pleasing book of haiku which made a good addition to the program.
- The classic The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins was unsurprisingly popular, and I appreciated the season-neutral setting.
- Finally, How Does the Wind Walk? by Nancy Carlstrom followed wind as it went from season to season, making for a charming piece, perfect for summer.
And then it was time for our craft! We made beaded wind chimes today. Super easy, and a great way to use up odds and ends in the craft cupboard.
This was a simple craft, but it was a bit time consuming, especially for the younger ones. We did end up having to let the parents help out a bit with the stringing of the beads. If we hadn’t, we could have been there for hours. Your detail oriented kids are going to take longer, too. Just be aware of that.
Supply wise, this was simple. I provided plastic lids that I begged from fellow staff members (I don’t eat enough cottage cheese to provide this all on my own.), yarn, pony beads, and some jungle bells. Add a hole punch, a bit of glue, and some scissors, and that’s it!
I punched holes in the lids for the kids, since it was just too tough for most of them. I found that eight strands worked well. Six wasn’t enough, ten took too long to string, and odd numbers are hard to make evenly spaced on the lid. Then the kids strung a bell of each strand of yarn…about a yard per strand seemed to work well. But I didn’t measure, and neither did the kids, so we ended up with a variety of lengths. And that’s okay.
Once the bells were in place, we put a tiny bit of glue on the yarn ends just so they’d go through the beads more easily. It helped. A lot. Don’t skip this step or you’ll be thinking very unkind thoughts as your yarn frays! And don’t worry about the fact that the ends look funny all covered in glue. We just trimmed them off at the end.
Then came the fun part. Beads, beads, and more beads! Some of the kids made patterns. Others didn’t. Some kids made all the strands the same length. Others made them all different. I love projects like this, where anything they do still leads to a great result!
Once the beads were strung, it was just a matter of threading the yarn through the holes in the lid and tying all the strands together in a knot at the top. Trim the glue-covered ends and your wind chime is done! Each one was unique, beautiful, and worked perfectly. A great reminder to find something to appreciate even when you’re melting in the heat.