How to Make a Wind Vane

Make a simple wind vane, and you'll soon be able to amaze others with your ability to forecast weather.


  • Step 1: Write the directions Write the four directions -- east, west, north and south -- equally spaced along the outer edges of an inverted paper plate.
  • TIP: Make the project personal by decorating the plate with crayons.
  • Step 2: Cut shapes Use scissors to cut an arrow point and an arrow tail from poster board, making each about 2 inches in length.
  • TIP: Cut the shapes from a Styrofoam plate if poster board is unavailable.
  • Step 3: Make slits in straw Make small slits at each end of the straw using scissors.
  • Step 4: Place the shapes Place one of the poster board shapes into a slit at each end of the straw to create an arrow. This will later point to the direction the wind is blowing.
  • Step 5: Insert pin Insert a straight pin through the center of the straw, and then into the eraser tip of the pencil, making sure to leave ample space for spinning at the upper and lower sides of the straw.
  • Step 6: Set pencil Set the pencil by pushing its point through the center of the paper plate, and then sticking it into a lump of modeling clay serving as a base.
  • TIP: Test the wind vane by gently blowing it.
  • Step 7: Place on second plate Place the structure on a second paper plate, and then glue the plates together with the clay mound inside.
  • Step 8: Move outdoors Move the wind vane outdoors after the glue dries, and then align the directions using a compass. Watch the arrow go to work! By learning what type of weather is associated with wind directions in your area, it's a breeze to forecast conditions.
  • FACT: As of 2008, Dodge City, Kansas, was the windiest city in the United States.

You Will Need

  • 2 paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Poster board
  • Plastic straw
  • Straight pin
  • Pencil with new eraser
  • Modeling clay
  • Glue
  • Compass
  • Crayons (optional)
  • Styrofoam plate (optional)

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