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Four of the best family autumn activities - whatever the weather

Autumn's erratic outlook allows your child’s creativity to run wild

Posted: 24 September 2013
by Fiona McKim

 2 of 5 

There she blows...

A handheld weather vane can be made easily from items you can find in almost any desk or kitchen drawer.

You will need
■ New pencil with an eraser
■ Drinking straw
■ Long, straight pin
■ Card
■ Scissors
■ Sticky tape
■ Paper clips
■ Navigational compass

1 Poke the pin right through the straw at its midpoint, and then gently wiggle the pin to enlarge the holes a bit. The straw should be able to spin freely around the pin, which should be held vertically.

2 Make a half-inch vertical slit in either end of the straw by flattening it and snipping it with the tip of the scissors.

3 From the card, cut out a square and a pointed triangle, both with sides roughly two or three inches in length.

4 Insert the triangle and square into the vertical slits in the straw, fastening them with tape, to create an arrowhead and tail, respectively.

5 Push the pin into the pencil’s eraser to hold the straw loosely in place, making sure it can spin freely. Add
one or more paper clips to the arrowhead to balancethe straw, as necessary.

6 Take your weather vane outside with you on a windy day and hold it upright. Use your compass to determine which direction the arrow is pointing in – this will be the current wind direction.

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Five of the best outdoor family activities for autumn
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The best autumn family activities, by author Amanda Soule


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