By Jackie Currie
We recently made vibrant rainbow wind chimes
here in my daycare, using sticks we'd gathered on a nature walk. They were so beautiful and easy to make, we were inspired to make a couple of natural versions for The Hooligans to give to their parents. In fact, these natural chimes make a perfect homemade Father's Day gift!
Crafting with items found in nature is a wonderful way for children to connect with the world around them, and collecting the materials is an opportunity to get outside with your children to explore your yard or neighbourhood.
You'll need ...
- yarn (or fishing line or twine)
The Hooligans and I started out with a walk through a nearby field, where we collected some large pinecones and lots of old sticks.
Back home, we peeled the bark off the sticks, and gave them a quick scrub with a sanding block. Peeling the bark off the sticks prevents them from peeling after they've been painted, and a light sanding will help the paint adhere to the wood.
Once the wood was prepared, The Hooligans painted their sticks with acrylic craft paints, and gave them a coat of craft varnish. We used a "satin" varnish, which really made the paint colours "pop" and added a richness to the wood that was left unpainted. It also added a nice sheen to our sticks.
We opted to leave the pinecones unpainted, and just added a coat of varnish to them.
When everything had dried, we twisted the screw eyes into the ends of the sticks and pinecones. My preschoolers were able to do this with very little assistance. I started the screw eyes for them, and they were able to twist them almost all the way in before it became too difficult. This was a great fine motor exercise.
At this point, all that was left to do was to string the "chimes" (aka sticks and pinecones). We used acrylic yarn to tie the chimes to the stick. Each time I tied a knot around the screw eye or stick, I doubled it, and because these wind chimes would be hanging outside, I added a dab of varnish to each knot to make sure it would hold. To complete the project, I tied a length of yarn to the stick (that the chimes are hanging from).
The pinecones obviously do not "chime" when the wind blows them, but they're a beautiful, natural decoration to hang in a corner of your deck or from a tree in your yard!
Our wooden chimes, however, make a lovely soft sound, similar to bamboo chimes when they blow in the wind.
These wind chimes are a perfect gift for your little Hooligan to make and give to Dad on his special day.
Happy Father's Day!
For more easy and affordable craft ideas, please pop over and visit us at Happy Hooligans
! You'll find lots of inspiration for kids' arts, crafts and activities.
Jackie Currie is the mom of two teenage boys, and the owner of a small home daycare in Central Ontario. When her first son was born, she traded in her corporate hat for finger paint and playdough, and she's never looked back. Her passions include dreaming up thrifty crafts and activities for the kids at her daycare (lovingly referred to as The Hooligans), photography, blogging at Happy Hooligans, and of course, the three handsome guys that she is privileged to call family. You can follow Jackie and The Hooligans on Facebook and on Twitter.
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