How to make a weathervane for children

Tame the most elusive of the elements with a collection of everyday objects

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1. Use the felt pen to mark compass points around the edge of the paper plate. Then stick a ball of modelling clay into the centre – the bigger the better.

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2. Push the pointed end of the pencil down into the ball of clay. Mould the clay around the pencil to help it to stand straight.

3.  Turn the drinking straw into an arrow by cutting slits into either end and inserting an arrowhead and tail cut from the coloured card. Make the tail bigger and heavier than the head.

4. Place the arrow across the top of the pencil and attach it by very carefully pushing a pin through the middle of the straw, down into the eraser. 

5. Outside, orient your weathervane with the compass. The heavier tail should move away from the wind, leaving the arrow to point to where the wind is coming from.

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Illustration: Alan Batey