Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Afternoon Fun for 33 cents

I remembered a "thing" that I loved as a child. It was a simple streamer on a string that turned an ordinary afternoon into something approaching magical. It could be swirled around you, low at your feet or over your head, like a cowboy's rope. You could swing it to make huge, fluttering figure eights or run, fanning your arm up and down as you went so that it looked like you were being chased by a Chinese dragon, and the taut rubber on the wire, hummed and whistled in the wind.
I could never find them in the store for my own children and supposed they had gone out of fashion in the 60's and never thought of trying to make one until this spring. I remember the basic elements but remember the wire and cardboard as larger. However, I also remember my hands as much smaller so it's anybody's guess. the rubber band also is not quite right and mine did not hum. The ones we played with as children had a wider piece of rubber that was stretched so tight it would whistle in the wind.
In June, I posted a photo of an intended project, the collection of "stuff" on the left. The collection includes packages of $.33 crepe paper streamer rolls, wire coathangers, cardboard, rubber bands, tape, string, stapler, wire cutter and needle nose pliers.
The photo on the right should be self explanatory...a length of shaped wire, with rubber band, a string, and cardboard folded around the wire with the end of a streamer stapled inside. The measurements are non-specific. The cardboard is a little wider than the streamer. The bend of the coathanger is a little wider than the cardboard. The string is about the length of the distance between a child's hand and the ground and the streamers are 6-7 feet long for younger children and 10-14 feet long for older children.

If you have found these in the store or have a better configuration, please let me know.

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