How to Make a Wind Vane for Kids
What is a Wind Vane?
A wind vane is an instrument used to measure the direction of wind. As wind blows onto the tail of the vane, the arrow of the vane points into the direction from which the wind is coming. For example, if you blow at your wind vane, the arrow will eventually come around to point at you!
Supplies to Make a Wind Vane
My daughter used this weather project for a science experiment and it actually worked!
Soda Bottle (I used a 12 oz mini water bottle for mine)
Bag of sand
Sharpened pencil to draw / trace arrow and tail
Nail or straight pin
2 straws – one thinner so the one can slide through the other (these can be found at a fast food restaurant or gas station in different sizes)
Thick cardstock from which to cut the arrow and tail
Paper, stickers, crayons, glitter, glue to decorate the bottle
Introduction to Making a Wind Vane
This was a school project my daughter created for her science class in the fourth grade. We made the wind vane small enough for her to carry back and forth on the school bus since I was at work and could not help her transport the project. My daughter was able to follow the directions and complete this project with minimal assistance. However, I did take over the use of the razor blade for her safety. The wind vane experiment really did work and she got full credit for the project. We still have the wind vane sitting in our kitchen window and she takes it down to show her sisters how it works. We were able to complete this project within a half hour. This idea doesn’t need to be completed only as a school science project, it can also be done to pass a rainy day or over summer break when students aren’t learning as much. A hands-on approach is one of the best methods for teaching a child.
How to Make a Wind Vane
1. Get all your supplies ready and set them out beside you
2. Wash the bottle and peel off the label, setting the bottle aside to dry during the rest of the steps
3. Use the scissors to cut three inches off the thicker straw
4. Use the scissors again to cut 1 inch slits at either end of the longer straw parallel to one another
5. Create the arrow by cutting a triangle out of your cardstock with a 2 inch wide base.
6. Create the tail by cutting a 4 inch square out of your cardstock
7. Slide the long straw into the shorter, wider straw leaving room at either end for the tail and arrow
8. Slide the arrow into the slit at one end of the longer straw and slide the tail into the slit at the opposite end
9. Secure the arrow and tail with tape if they do not seem stable and set this piece aside
10. Fill your clean bottle with the sand for weight
11. Push the straight pin through the middle of the straws
12. Slide the pencil into the sand in the bottle with the eraser sticking up
13. Slide the straight pin into the eraser