Make a Wind Chime

The sound of a wind time in the summer breeze is very relaxing and making one can occupy the children for an afternoon. The materials you will need are items that will make a pretty sound when they rub against each other (shells, beads, or even old utensils), something sharp to poke a hole through each item, a hammer, string, a round item (a lid or piece of wood) for the top, and a hook to hang the wind chime.

Once all the items are collected the adult should use the hammer and sharp object (such as a screwdriver) to make a hole in each object. If the item is too hard to make a hole in (like a rock) tie string around it several times until it is secured. After the holes are made tie a piece of string to each item.

Take your tools again and punch holes in the round lid that you are going to use, one for each item that will be hanging from the wind chime. Thread the string through the hole and tie a knot so that it will not fall back through. Poke two more holes in the lid and tie one piece of string through both holes and attach the hook.

All that is left is to find the perfect spot for your wind chime. Place it close enough so that it can be heard through an open window on a breezy day. If the items do not knock against each other when the wind blows you may have to adjust the lengths of the string a few times until you get it just right. Keep an eye on the wind chime to make sure it doesn’t lose any of the pieces. If it does be sure to pick them up as they can pose a choking hazard to young children.

Recycling Box Crafts

Recycling in itself is a great activity for children, it teaches them how to take care of the environment and how to sort objects into different materials (plastic, metal, paper). As long as all the items are clean and free from sharp edges children should be able to make use of any and all items in the family recycling bin.

As any parent knows, younger children are more fascinated by cardboard boxes than what came in them. This isn’t as true for older children, but they still love to play with and create things out of cardboard.

Some other items that children can use that you may not readily associate with recycling are:

* Birthday or Christmas cards – if you do not keep them year after year kids can cut them up and use the images for pictures or as puppets by gluing a popsicle stick to the back.

* Old newspaper and magazines. The newspaper can be shredded for paper maché or children can cut out individual letters to create a secret message. The magazines can be used to cut out letters too or cut out pictures to make a collage.

* Old clothing such as orphaned socks or jeans that are beyond repair. Use the socks to make sock puppets and put on a puppet show. You can use other recycled materials to decorate the sock puppet. A popular craft made with blue jeans is to cut off the back pockets and sew onto a purse or use both pockets to create a smaller purse.

* Old compact discs that don’t work anymore can be decorated and re-used as

Children have great imaginations, let them pick their own materials from the recycling and see what they come up with. Just be careful with glass and other items that could cut or otherwise hurt younger children.