If I Listen with My Heart: Windwands for Older Children

Windwands are magical!


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Every time I bring out the windwands, there is a buzz in the room of children.  They are interested. They want to participate.  They want to hold the ribbons and stick in their hands.

Here is an idea to help older children move to the beat, figure out a pattern (the logic in their brains), have lots of color, and cement the beat of the song into their body.


Tell the children, “Here’s the pattern.” ( I complete the pattern below without singing.)  “Can you figure out how to say what I just did?” The children give their answers.  I write the pattern they tell me on the board.


Circle to the left 4 x

Circle to the right 4 x

Circle above the head 4 x

Circle on the floor 4 x


“Pretend to hold a windwand and do this pattern with me.”  “Ready?” I begin to sing and do the pattern.  The children follow my actions (not yet holding a windwand.) I sing the song up to the words “But as I search…”

“Freeze!”  I call out.  “Here’s the new pattern!”


Snake on the floor to the left

Snake on the floor to the right

Over the shoulder left

Over the shoulder right

(Repeat the whole pattern twice)


“Can you tell me in words what I just did?”  I write their answers on the board.

“Pretend to hold a windwand and and do this pattern with me.”  I begin to sing “But as I search the scriptures, I can hear His words of peace.”  We do the pattern together.

“Freeze! Now do the first pattern again.”  I sing “And if I listen with my heart, I hear the Savior’s voice.”  We do the pattern together.


“Are you ready to use the windwands?”  “Here are the rules: If you use the windwand inappropriately, I take it.  No questions asked.  Be careful not to let any part of your windwand touch someone else.”


Other adults help me hand out the windwands.  If I don’t have enough for all of the children, we take turns. (That way we get to sing the song even more times<grin>.)


We sing the song and do the two patterns.  (I give a hint to go to the new pattern just before that part.)




18 Responses

  1. Ember Fife

    I’m gearing up to make these! Any suggestions where to get a lot of ribbon? I’ll be doing between 50 and 60.

    • Sharla Dance

      I will post something on how I made these wind wands. I know they also have commercial versions available. Thank you for asking!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Joy, I will post a page on how to make the windwands. I used 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch wide ribbon double sided satin.

  2. Tabitha Beach

    I don’t currently have the budget to make these…is there something else that would work well enough that you recommend? Would it work to just use ribbon?

    • Sharla Dance

      Many people have tied ribbon onto embroidery hoops or something else that was cheaper. I think I have heard of someone just using a ribbon for each child. I don’t know how well it works because I wasn’t there. Good for you for looking for other ways.

  3. Angie

    Hi Sharla, Do older children really like windwands? I feel like my oldest children/class would not be interested in this, but I am not very good at determining what will be fun for different age-groups! Thank you for answering!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Angie,
      It’s not the windwands, but the challenge of following the pattern that is at their age level. I often start out with “Here is the pattern.” Then I show the pattern and ask, “Can you put that pattern into words?” as I do the pattern again. I often will make the pattern a little challenging. I ask them to act as if they have a windwand and do the pattern with me as I sing the song. (Which means I have to practice the pattern AND sing). Take care, Sharla

  4. Ember Fife

    Just in case this may help other readers, I made these using the pattern shared on this website, but couldn’t fold the 5/8 inch ribbon into the triangle at the top to cover the raw edges. I think I would need closer to an inch to make that work, and a much heftier leather punch than we had. So we just painted the ends with nail polish and folded them over once before punching the hole with a leather punch and inserting the eyelet. They still turned out beautiful and professional looking! Love how the fishing swivel works on them!!!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Ember, I’m so glad you shared this. And Yay! for making the windwands. They are a great resource. Way to go! Sharla

  5. Ember Fife

    Also, I ran out of the wooden balls and so temporarily used thumb tacks to attach the nylon twine at the end of dowels for a few of them, and they hold really strong. So that could be another option.

  6. Jen

    Another good option for making windwands: put screw eye into dowel, attach fishing swivel through screw eye (the safety-pin like side), take 2 yds of 3/4″ satin ribbon and thread through hole in other side of fishing swivel and secure center of ribbon in square knot. We used a hot knife to cut the ribbon so edges wouldn’t fray.

  7. Marianne Orton

    Another idea is ribbon rings, which is I made for my primary. You take old canning rings and tie 2 or 3 different ribbons on them. Mine are not as long as yours (about 2 feet give or take) because I was using my own ribbon and trying to make it last (I have a HUGE primary!).

  8. Farah Thompson

    Thank you for posting about the leather punch. I tried to punch through the ribbon with a paper punch and about killed myself. I also found closeout ribbon at JoAnn’s and asked ladies in my ward for any ribbon the had and I now have enough to make the windwands. Wahoo.

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