Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easy toddler craft: A windsock to welcome spring

Spring is finally here! Being a bit of a sun-worshiper, I am always happy when the spring equinox arrives and brings with it longer and warmer days. Signs of the new season in our backyard include apple & peach tree blossoms, new seedlings in the greenhouse, asparagus pushing up in the garden, and an abundance of eggs. Inside our home, I love how the extra light streaming through the windows makes our tiny house feel larger and warms the floors under our feet.

With a three-year-old in our home, I'm quickly learning that everything - and I mean everything - provides an opportunity to teach. Spring is no exception. Each week we've been talking about different topics that relate to spring and the outdoors, from birds to trees to light/rainbows to the wind. In regards to the latter, to help him visualize what he cannot see - the movement of air - we made a windsock. What started as a fun project to fill an afternoon has resulted in a permanent addition to our patio that hangs outside our kitchen window. From his seat at our breakfast table our toddler sees the windsock "capture" the wind and reports his findings with glee.

This project is pretty self-explanatory. All you need is a cleaned can (use tape to cover any sharp edges inside), paint, and 20+ pieces of approximately 14'' length ribbon (the number will depend upon the size of your can and the width of your ribbon). Have your child paint the can and once it is dry help him/her glue the ribbons to the inside of the can. Punch holes in the top with a screwdriver and add string and, voila! Your windsock is born.

Though my toddler is typically not very interested in doing crafts, whenever we work on a particularly fun or interesting project he really gets into it. This definitely qualified! He spent over 30 minutes painting the can - both inside and out. He then couldn't wait to add the ribbons. Once we hung it up he was beaming. It warms my heart to know that the small projects that we do (especially those that require planning and prep on my part) add meaning and joy to his day.

What do you like to do with your family to welcome spring into your home? Please share in the comments!



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