Coming up with a free or low-cost craft that doesn't produce waste can be a challenge. Recently, though, we tried this twig whistle craft with our Wild and Free homeschool nature group and it was a huge success!
Most of the children in our group are little and not yet wielding their own pocket knives, so I did most of the work for them.
Their job was to select the perfect twig and, of course, test their whistle.
When it produced that very first duck-like call, the kids giggled with delight!
Instructions for crafting your very own twig whistles:
1. Select your twigs.
We found ours under a large cedar tree in our backyard. Cut to size with yard clippers or a saw, about 3"- 4" in length.
2. Split each twig down the middle lengthwise.
We used a machete.. but not everyone has a machete laying around, so use what you have! Hold the blade onto the center of one end and pound the twig and blade together onto your work surface. Continue to pound gently as it splits.
3. In the center of each half, you will carve out a slit of wood about 3/4" long.
This will be the area you blow through.
Carve both of the halves in this way.
4. Attach a rubber band to one half of the twig lengthwise.
5. Replace the second half of the twig, sandwiching the rubber band in the middle.
At this point, test the whistle by holding the ends together tightly and blowing through the groove.
Air should be able to move around both sides of the rubber band.
You may need to carve a bit more, or pull the inner rubber band more tightly, until the whistle sounds.
When it tests well, add rubber bands to each end to secure.
This is your finished whistle, ready to customize!
You may want to remove the bark, add string, decorate with a wood burner or add colorful beads.
The extra rubber band piece on the exterior can be cut off.
This whistle makes a sound similar to a duck call.
I hope you enjoyed this zero waste-friendly nature craft! Let me know how it went and be sure to subscribe for more!