On a rare bright day this week, we realised how much we’d like to capture that sunshine and all the pretty colours it brings out in the garden. We made sun-catcher wind chimes to do just that! Here’s how we did it…
You will need:-
- Sticky backed plastic or a laminator
- Preserving jar screw tops
- Garden string
- Strong stick
First, set your Little Explorers off on a collecting mission in the garden or park. Ask them to find a few petals of flowers from every colour of the rainbow. Our pre-schoolers are learning all about rainbows this term so it is great to reinforce that education at home. You can sing the song if you can remember which order the colours go in… Red and yellow and pink and green, Purple and orange and blue; I can sing a rainbow, Sing a rainbow, You can sing one too!
You don’t need many petals so you can talk to your little ones about showing some restraint in their picking – to deter future unwanted harvests! We saw plenty of bees nosing into the flowers and collecting pollen so we chatted about that too.
Once they are collected, your Little Explorers can sort them into their colour groups, which is an activity they always enjoy. Despite the relative wildness of these young brains, they seem to like to impose some kind of order over their play. If only they did it with their toys at the end of the day, too!
Lay out the sheets of sticky backed plastic or a laminating pouch and ask your Little Explorers to sprinkle their pretty petals all over it – by separate colour or in a random pattern.
Then seal the two sheets of plastic together tightly, squeezing out as much air as possible, or melt them together through the laminator. This will keep the petals looking fresh.
Your Little Explorers can then use the screw lids to trace circles, then cut them out of the now beautiful plastic sheets. These can be pushed into the lids, along with a length of garden string for hanging. Take a strong twig or branch, and hang the sun catchers up at different lengths so they will clink in the wind.
Hey presto! A beautiful and surprisingly relaxing wind chime to remind you of the spring colours – even when it rains.
Expert Explorers: Did you know that petals have evolved their designs to attract the insects they need for pollination? Bees and butterflies can see ultraviolet markings on the petals which humans can’t see. The petals are also shaped to help insects land on them and collect pollen easily. They often smell beautiful to attract the insects but some actually smell of rotting meat and this attracts flies!