How to Teach Kids to Make an Easy Wind Vane

Wind direction is a key indicator in weather patterns. A wind vane is a basic tool to determine wind direction that can be made easily from basic supplies. To teach a child to make an easy wind vane, provide the required supplies and walk them through the basic steps of wind vane creation.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Index card
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Straw
  • Straight pin
  • Paper plate
  • Clay

Instructions

    • 1

      Lay an index card flat on the work surface. Cut a triangle from one end of the index card by starting at the corners and angling toward the center of the index card. The triangle should not exceed half the length of the index card.

    • 2

      Tape the arrow point (triangle) to one end of the straw. Tape the remainder of the index card to the other end of the straw as a tail. The straight edge of the tail should face the arrow, with the triangular portions pointing outward.

    • 3

      Tape a penny to the back of the tail. This will cause the arrow to point in the direction from which the wind is blowing, because the tail will weigh more.

    • 4

      Center the straw over the eraser of the pencil. Push a straight pin through the straw and into the eraser. Make sure that it is attached loosely enough that the straw can turn and rotate freely.

    • 5

      Use a paper plate for a base. At equally spaced intervals, label the sections of the plate North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West and Northwest.

    • 6

      Place a lump of soft clay in the center of the plate. Stick the sharp end of the pencil into the clay.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a compass to correctly orient the plate so that the 'North' label faces actual 'North.'
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