Weather at Home: DIY Wind Vane

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DENVER (KDVR) — If you are looking for an activity to help keep your kids busy at home, you can make this simple science experiment: a wind vane.

This classic science experiment is sure to bring your kids hours of entertainment and can be made with common household items.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a plastic or paper cup
  • hot glue gun
  • construction paper
  • wood pencil with eraser
  • sewing pin or push pin
  • straw
  • scissors
  • marker
  • compass

Instructions:

  1. Cut a square out of construction paper and write the directions north, south, east and west on it how you would see them on a compass
  2. Cut an arrow and tail out of the construction paper
  3. Stick the pencil through the bottom of the cup with the eraser facing up. Use glue to connect the pencil to the cup so that it won’t move
  4. Cut a one-inch slit on each side of the straw and put your paper arrow and tail on each side in the slits
  5. You can then poke the pin through the center of the straw and into the eraser of the pencil
  6. Use a compass to find which direction is north and face the north on the square paper that way. You can then set the cup on the paper
  7. Now, your wind vane is ready to use so that you can tell the wind direction. The arrow points toward the direction the wind is coming from. So if it is pointing west, the wind is coming from the west and heading east.

Fun Facts about wind for kids:

Wind is the movement of air and is caused by uneven heating of the Sun on Earth. This causes areas of high and low pressure. Wind moves from high pressure to low pressure.

Wind direction can be found from a weather vane but wind speed is measured by an anemometer.

Different wind directions can cause different weather patterns. Here on the Front Range, wind from the west is what we call a downsloping wind because it is flowing down the slope of the mountains. This often will create warm and dry weather on the Front Range. Wind from the east is called upslope wind because it goes up the slope of the mountains. This type of wind can lead to cloudy and wet weather on the Front Range.

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