BLOWING IN THE WIND
March’s bluster yields to April’s more gentle winds. Though chilly days linger for some northern friends, it’s never too soon to heed Lily Pulitzer’s advice when she says, “Despite the forecast, live like it’s spring.”
Sounds good. What does Lily mean? Could it be adding spring to a step, springing new ideas into action, springing a surprise on an unsuspecting someone, eating more spring rolls? YES, it could! The cool thing is that this kind of spring can happen anytime, anywhere and to anyone. Admittedly, warm weather and sunny skies are the perfect accessory for weather that’s dependent on one’s frame of mind. If you are at the receiving end of pleasant days, like me, you might find yourself indulging in walks that become hikes, dreams that grow into gardens, and in nurturing that rouses your little kid inside who is BURSTING to rollick outside.
My little kid says “Let’s go on a hunt for shades of green that signal new growth, let’s keep our eyes open for frogs and snakes, let’s eat peppers, plant the seeds and see if they grow, let’s ride bikes.” My adult is in synchronicity with my little kid. A day of wonder is hard to resist, even if reasons for a snake alert are different.
To appease the little kid and the grown up in all of us here are some windy day activities that are perfect for the month of April. Keep reading for a simple science and art project for children.
- Maneuver light-weight scarves in the wind, try to keep them from touching you, maybe turn the scarf into a cape.
- Fly a kite.
- Make pinwheels. Stick them in the ground to create a twirling garden. This provides an opportunity to talk about wind power.
- Go sailing.
- Make boats from styrofoam meat trays, a stick and a paper flag- launch them in water.
- Attach a pillow case or colored streamers to a stick or pole and make a wind sock.
- Blow bubbles. Try to catch them.
- Run with the wind, run against it- what’s different?
- Make up a story about where the wind is going and why it is in such a hurry.
If the wind is too blowy, children (and adults) can become their own wind by blowing paint across paper. This creates a visual journey of where the wind begins and ends. Altering the strength of blowing, and using multiple colors adds dimension and can be used to help explain the directions North, East, South and West.
Here’s what you need: paper, runny paint or colored liquid, a straw for each child, towels for clean-up. I like to cover my work surface with something waterproof.
Method: drop small blobs of paint on the paper and blow it in all directions. Turn the paper to redirect the paint.
If you work on directionality, the painted paper can become a weather vane by cutting it into the shape of arrows crossing and attaching it to a straight object long enough to allow the paper to spin.
Happy wind days!