The month of April is like the earth’s sigh after waking up from its winter’s sleep. The balmy breeze, the blossoming flowers, new life showing itself all around us. It’s no wonder that April is the time chosen to celebrate National Poetry Month. It certainly brings out the more poetic nature in me. There are a lot of wonderful books in the children’s collection that will inspire the poet within. If you are interested take a look at the list titled Ahh, Poetry, and check them out.

In the meantime, visit the Ashland Library to pick up a Take & Make kit with supplies to create a beautiful butterfly windcatcher. Think of it as poetry in motion to brighten your day. Put it anywhere it will catch the breeze, and watch the butterflies play.

If you can’t make it to the Ashland to pick up a kit, no worries! The following list will help you recreate this project at home:

  • Paper
  • Markers, crayons, etc.
  • Glue
  • Stapler
  • String
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors

I was going with a spring theme for my windcatcher, so I’ve included a butterfly template for you to print out. Pictures or drawings of flowers, leaves, dragonflies, bees… all of these would also be a fun addition to the project.

Cutting butterfly shapes out of blue paper with scissors

First I cut it out and traced around it on colored paper and cut out several butterfly shapes. If you fold the paper in half, you’ll get two butterflies out of one snipping job.

Using a marker to color a butterfly

After I used the butterfly template, I colored it in with markers to make a third butterfly. Crayons or colored pencils are both good options as well.

A sheet of paper folded in half

Next, I took my 8.5 x 11″ paper and folded it in half lengthwise.

A sheet of paper cut in half

I took my 8.5 x 11″ paper and cut it in half along the fold.

Two halves of paper stapled together

After that, I stapled it together. If you don’t have a stapler in the house, I recommend Elmer’s glue, reinforced with some tape.

A paper extension is added to the end of the paper

After you have the bones of your windcatcher put together, I found it helpful to give myself a boundary for where I could decorate without it being impacted by stapling it together at the end of the project. I did this by using some of the scrap paper I had left over from cutting out the butterflies.

Aluminum foil cut into flower shapes

I didn’t have any glittery stickers or paper on hand, so I decided to cut some flowers out of aluminum foil, just to sparkle the windcatcher up a bit and give the sun a little something to reflect off of.

Butterflies and flowers cut out on white paper

With my butterflies and flowers prepped and ready to go, it was time to decorate the windcatcher.

Ribbons glued onto paper

Next, I added the ribbons. I used a variety of ribbon types, from crepe paper streamers to satin ones I had left in my sewing supplies. Ribbons and crepe paper streamers can be picked up at one of your local craft or dollar stores.

Taping string to the inside of the windcatcher

Once the ribbons were in place, it was time to staple the windcatcher together to form a tube, and tape on some string to hang it up.

A windcatcher with ribbon streamers and butterfly decorations

Congratulations! Your windcatcher is done. Find a tree outside or hang it in front of a window. No matter where you put it, hopefully it adds a feeling of spring days and sunshine.

If you have a chance, take a look at the Storytime short below, featuring the book Layla’s Happiness by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie. It’s a wonderful story that explores, from the perspective of a seven-year-old girl, the special things in life that make her happy.  

In celebration of National Poetry Month, April 17-23, the Ashland Library in collaboration with Ashland Parks and Recreation will be will be a hosting a week-long poetry walk at the North Mountain Park. This self-guided program features the pages from the picture book Bloom Boom! by April Pulley Sayre, which will be placed along one of the park’s popular nature trails. People of all ages are invited to enjoy the book’s gorgeous nature photography and poetic language celebrating springtime and flowering plants.  

In addition to this, many of our branch libraries are offering fun programs this spring; check out the calendar to find some of the neat things going on near you.