Friday, 30 May 2014

Windchime Keys

Squeaky's holiday homework for the Easter break (yes, it's taken me that long to write about this!) was to make a musical instrument.  Now I try very hard not to be a competitive parent, but there was no way I was sending her to school with an empty coke bottle with some dried peas in it.  If we're going to make an instrument, we're really going to make an instrument.  Know what I mean?

All good ideas start off with a google search these days. And after realising that I had neither the skills nor materials to make a real and functioning flute, and there was no way Squeaky would sacrifice enough colouring pencils to approximate a glockenspiel, I came across an idea to make windchimes from old keys.  As luck would have it, we had our windows and doors replaced over the Easter break, so I was the proud owner of a handful of door keys that were no longer in use.

I sent Squeaky & Daddy off to the park in search of suitable sticks, while I hunted through my collection of art & craft stuff for string and acrylic paints.  I also experimented with a handy coathanger just in case the sticks weren't co-operative.

Painting under way
As I only found primary colours, plus white, it turned out to be a great opportunity for Squeaky and I to learn about colour mixing and we managed to make 7 different coloured keys out of the 4 paints we had available.  Very impressive.  (The picture doesn't show the orange very well, you'll have to trust me)

Jingle jingle
 Most of the colours covered the keys in two coats, the yellow needed three as it was a bit more sheer than the others, and we painted the stick in sections to match the keys.  Crafting string to suspend the keys from the stick, and a final piece to suspend the whole chime from, and our homework was complete.  Squeaky took great delight in taking it into school and jingling it at everyone in sight.  It's due home from school soon, and I'll suspend it from the bird table to jingle in the breeze.

Maybe we put in a bit too much effort to our holiday homework, but surely homework is meant to be about learning, and fun.  We learned about colours, picking the right materials, recycling.  What does a child learn from their parent shoving peas into a plastic bottle they grabbed just before walking out of the door?

And yes, there were a lot of empty bottles with peas in.

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