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How to Make a Wind Vane for Kids

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Completed Wind Vane

Completed Wind Vane

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

  • Unsharpened pencil

  • Sharpened pencil to draw / trace arrow and tail

  • Nail or straight pin

  • Tape

  • 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)

  • Scissors

  • Thick cardstock from which to cut the arrow and tail

  • Paper, stickers, crayons, glitter, glue to decorate the bottle

  • Ruler

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.


Supplies for making a wind vane

Supplies for making a wind vane

I bought orange sand at a craft store because it is our school color.  I also bought a tiny funnel perfect for filling the bottle.

I bought orange sand at a craft store because it is our school color. I also bought a tiny funnel perfect for filling the bottle.

Project for Science - Wind vane

Project for Science - Wind vane

See how the pin goes through the straws and into the top of the eraser?  You may need to slide the straws up and down on the pin a few times to widen the whole - so the arrow and tail can spin freely.

See how the pin goes through the straws and into the top of the eraser? You may need to slide the straws up and down on the pin a few times to widen the whole - so the arrow and tail can spin freely.

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


If you look closely you can see how the one straw is sitting inside the other.  You can also see how the longer straw has a slit to hold the tail.  Our tail would not stay on without tape.

If you look closely you can see how the one straw is sitting inside the other. You can also see how the longer straw has a slit to hold the tail. Our tail would not stay on without tape.

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Comments

abby on October 08, 2013:

very boring

angelicatight on October 01, 2013:

this is all nonsense

Jason Plus from Philippines on February 14, 2013:

Thanks for this post. I'm going to try it in my class.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on January 24, 2013:

Nice project! This reminds me of the tornadoes in a bottle we use to make with two plastic soda bottles, blue water and taping the two soda bottle together at the neck. You swirl the water, flip it and a vortex is formed. I like the fact that you added some school spirit to it by coloring the sand the school's color.

monahamed on January 09, 2013:

Very good idea and easy to do . Thank you.

x on January 05, 2013:

bad idea i cut my finger off. don't trust

RGIII on January 05, 2013:

A is a good grade, right? thank u a lot!!!! :)

nsor on January 05, 2013:

Help me a lot i got a A+!

vibesites from United States on December 14, 2012:

Thanks for the article. Very helpful and interesting. I'm sure this will be of help to my younger folks when with their science projects. Voted up and useful. :)

DAVID 3days ago on December 13, 2012:

Thanks for yr help ardie

Sondra (author) from Neverland on October 29, 2012:

Hi CassyLu :) Im glad you enjoyed this Hub - I have to admit I finally tossed the wind vane that is pictured here. I kept knocking the stupid thing over and getting orange sand all over the house! Maybe my next one will include a lid.

Hiya GRP, thanks for the great comment :) Now if you make one of these I insist on a pic

GlstngRosePetals from Wouldn't You Like To Know on September 24, 2012:

Great article! very understandable and easy eanough. Love the photo illistrations thamk you for the great read!! Voted up !!!

CassyLu1981 from Spring Lake, NC on September 14, 2012:

What a super cute idea Ardie :) Me and the kids will have to do one of these for the coming fall! Excellent idea! Voted up and shared :)

Sondra (author) from Neverland on July 06, 2012:

Hello moonlake =) I don't even wanna think about the days when I don't have a little one around to make fun crafts with! I will just have to borrow someone else's young kids, right? And not like kidnapping haha maybe just babysitting. Thanks for the vote

moonlake from America on July 04, 2012:

Very nice. Kids would love doing this. I wish I still had little ones around so I could show them how to make it. My oldest granddaughter always loved crafts and she still does. Voted Up.

johnakc from New Delhi on April 20, 2012:

You are Welcome :)

Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 19, 2012:

Thank you johnack :)

johnakc from New Delhi on April 19, 2012:

wonderful illustration..

Sondra (author) from Neverland on April 18, 2012:

haha thanks Audra! I loved making this with my daughter and she did such a good job I kept it :)

Hi Brian :) You like the pencil with the rubber on top? Thanks!! I have seen some people make a project similar to this but on a much bigger scale and I bet it would look great in a garden!

Hi RHW, I think glitter makes everything better! Once you have yours all made send me a picture :)

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on April 18, 2012:

Terrific! This is going to be a project we save for a rainy day! Very cool and fun - I think I am gonna use a little glitter too:) haha! We didn't make one that day it rained so I printed it and saved!

BRIAN SLATER on April 18, 2012:

Great hub my super star friend, like the pictures also especially the pencil with the rubber on the top. On the next rainy day I'd like to make a blue one to go under the verandh on my summer house. voted up, up and away just like the weather vane:) :)

iamaudraleigh on April 18, 2012:

This looks like a fun project for kids ...and me!

Sondra (author) from Neverland on January 20, 2012:

Hiya Cagsil, you know YOU could always make one just for the fun of it. What's your favorite color? You can make a wind vane to match your porch :) Thanks for all the votes even if you choose not to make my AWESOME craft hahah

Raymond D Choiniere from USA on January 19, 2012:

Hey Ardie, great hub. I don't think I will be making one though. Both my nieces are a bit older now, one has graduated high school and in college, and the other is still in high school but would not need to do this or even want to. LOL! Nice step by step guide for others though. For that you get a voted up! useful and awesome. :)

Sondra (author) from Neverland on January 19, 2012:

Hello Gypsy Willow, another beautiful hubber name! I hope they do have fun making this. If you have any questions feel free to ask :)

Gypsy Willow from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand on January 19, 2012:

My grandchildren will love making this. Thank you

Sondra (author) from Neverland on January 16, 2012:

Wow, missolive!!! That's the best complement I could ever get passing it on to the science teachers :) The best part of this project was its cost - pretty much NOTHING! Thanks for the votes

Sondra (author) from Neverland on January 16, 2012:

Hmm Posh, I can ask her. But Im afraid the shipping costs would be HUGE! Unless it can be only 5 inches tall too

Sondra (author) from Neverland on January 16, 2012:

Thanks Haunty :) It was a fun little project to make - BOTH times! I say both because I had to take it apart to get the pics for the hub hahah

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on January 16, 2012:

Very cool Ardie! Nice instructions too! I'm going to share this with my nieces. I'll send it over to the science teachers as well.

Fun hub! Voted up!

Steve Mitchell from Cambridgeshire on January 16, 2012:

Ardie, hey I like this. Can you daughter do one for a windmill to put out in the garden?

Nice hub and has attracted a lot of interest for you.

Haunty from Hungary on January 16, 2012:

Now I can make a wind vane, yay!! Congrats to Bette! The project looks very neat and you are smart to keep it for the little two. :D

Sondra (author) from Neverland on January 16, 2012:

Hi thejeffriestube :) This was so much fun to make. Can you believe I've kept it for a year and a half? That's so my little two can use it for the same science projects hahahah Cheaters

Angela, eeeew I do NOT envy you. I wonder if that's something I will have to make with my daughter next year. Hey, make a Hub detailing your steps and I'll use it!!

Hello RHW! I've missed you - haven't seen you around much lately. Let me know what your girls think of this. My kids loved it because it involved sand :)

Hi KrystalD :) Im so excited you will keep it on hand for students. That makes me feel all kinds of warm and happy. Any questions just email me!!

Krystal from Los Angeles on January 16, 2012:

This looks really fun and pretty easy! I will be keeping this one on hand for my students!

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on January 15, 2012:

Hey! Cool Ardie! My girls can try this project tomorrow:). No school - yippee! Lol

Really nice job with the perfect layout and everything!

angela p from Richmond, Virginia on January 15, 2012:

Interesting project. We have to design or find a frequency generator for a 6th grade project in the next few days.. ughhh..

Dave from United States on January 15, 2012:

Ardie, very interesting and useful, thank you!

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