Recycled Wind Chime

windchime Reuse household materials to make a festive, environmentally-friendly craft that is ideal for celebrating Earth Day!


  • To teach children how to recycle common household items from "trash" into "treasure"
  • For children to have fun creating their own unique wind chimes
  • To explore the different sounds items make when they swing into each other

Before You Start: Have the children bring clean, empty plastic tubs with lids (butter/margarine spread, cottage cheese containers, etc.) and clean, empty plastic grocery bags from home. (You may want to bring some containers and plastic bags also for those who do not have their own.) Gather and set out various items that will function as “sound sites” on the wind chimes such as jingle bells, buttons, craft sticks, beads, and ribbon. (You could recycle ribbon from gifts or other crafts/activities to make this activity even more eco-friendly.) Gather Colorations® markers, glitter and paint to decorate with as well as glue, tape and scissors.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Help the children cut a small slit in the center of their plastic tub lids and weave a piece of string, twine or ribbon through the lid to form a loop through which the chime can hang. Demonstrate how to tie a knot at one end of the ribbon and lace the string through a large button. Then, weave the string through the slit in the lid. (The button will be on the underside of the lid so that it holds the string or twine more securely.)

Step 2. Help the children cut streamers from the ribbon and/or plastic bags to hang from their containers. Demonstrate to children how to arrange the streamers around the rim of the tub so that they hang over the edge.

Step 3. Show the children how to secure one end of each streamer to the inside of the container with a piece of tape. Let them arrange their own streamers any way they like for their "chimes."

Step 4. Have the children close their lids over the rims of the tubs to help hold the streamers in place.

Step 5. Now the children can experiment with gluing or taping different items to ends of the streamers to create the "chimes." Craft sticks, jingle bells, and plastic beads will clank together in the wind and make unique sounds.

Step 6. Ask the children about the different sounds they hear and how they think their different "chimes" will sound in the wind.

Step 7. Now each child has her own unique wind chime that can be hung outside or displayed in the classroom!

Furthermore: Have the children take their wind socks outside to watch the streamers blow in the wind as the children run and the wind socks trail behind them, or as they hold them up in the air and move around. For smaller classes, or to use less time, you could turn this into a group activity by having children decorate and create their own streamer, and then work together to add them to one container to create a whole-class wind chime. Talk to children about ways they could recycle other materials at home to help the environment. Or, consider expanding this into a science lesson and having the children take turns sharing what they know about the air in our environment. Earth Day provides a great opportunity also to talk about things in the environment that pollute the air and what we can do to help keep our air clean.

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