An easy kid’s craft idea, these kid-made garden wind chimes are a sweet way to decorate your garden and explore an exciting new painting technique. Miss G and I recently made these garden wind chimes as a present for her Nana’s birthday.
Miss G loved making leather lace and bead necklaces as part of our North American unit study, and it’s a great fine motor activity allowing her to practice her pincer grip and precision, so I bought her a giant tray of pony beads for her to create with whenever she likes.
There are so many great kids craft ideas that you can incorporate your child’s love of string beads into, and for me, I know that it’s an easy way to encourage Miss G to try something new.
Garden Wind Chime Materials:
- Old gardening pot
- Water-proof string (we used leather lace)
- Assorted beads
- Paint (we used up some almost-empty bottles)
- 2 washers
- Kitchen tray
- Waterproof sealer spray, optional
I thought I’d provide some sweet hand-painted beads, but Miss G was only interested in using her pony bead collection. It would also be fun to provide found objects with natural holes or holes drilled into them, like washers, nuts, etc.
I provided three lengths of string and Miss G took her time adding beads to it. As long as she put the tray up whenever she wanted to take a break (to keep the toddlers out of it), I just let her add beads to her strings whenever the mood struck.
For me, part of having an activity be truly child-directed is giving them as much freedom over the creative or inquisitive process as possible. While it wouldn’t be “wrong” to encourage a child to do an art activity all at one time, if you have the time and freedom to allow them to come and go as they please, that can make it a more positive experience and allow your child to feel more connection and ownership over their final product.
I first read about this pour painting technique on the Artful Parent, a gorgeous and inspiring arts and craft blog. You simply pour paint over top of an object, and then pour a second layer of paint right into the center of the first puddle.
The paint will drip down in layers, creating a wonderfully dramatic effect – just take a peek for yourself!
Miss G is a huge sensory seeker, and always wants to get her hands into any messy activities we do, but finger painting the actual pot would take away from the cool pour effect, so I instead encouraged her to swirl her finger along the top of the pot to help the paint pour down the sides.
(Also, I provided bottles of paint that I was okay with her using the entire bottle up of, so that I wasn’t hovering or trying to get her to stop pouring – interrupting the creative process. If you didn’t have any nearly empty bottles, you could put the paint into small bowls or containers for this pouring technique.)
Once everything is dry, tie your bead strings securely to your first washer, leaving a few inches free at the top, and then poke the strings through the top of the garden pot and tie them securely around a second washer.
Tie all of the strings into a knot toward the end of the strings, forming a loop to hang the wind chimes.
I hope you liked this easy kids craft idea for a homemade garden wind chime!
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