After making a stick broom for the rear rack (photos to come), it seemed a bat was in order. Having experimented with one for my bike, I introduced two second-graders to the project and in short order both had BikeSpoke Bats of their own...
Step 1: Ingredients
Bike inner tube
Red and black pipe cleaners
Scissors (I used sharp paper scissors)
Step 2: Cut and Open the Inner Tube
Then cut the inner curve of the tube and open it up flat. The resulting piece is a bit warbly, ideal for a more realistic looking bat shape.
Step 3: Trace and Cut Out the Bat Shape
Step 4: Mark and Cut Holes for the Eyes and Wing Attachments
I'm still not sure how durable the tubing is and whether these slits will prove too close and thus rip after use, but I'll report back if they do.
Step 5: Thread the Pipe Cleaners Through the Slits
Thread each black piece through the wing slits, either from the back or front, leaving an inch or so sticking out. If you thread them from the front (as determined by the eyes), when you twist them on the spokes they'll seem a bit like bat claws, an effect I liked.
Step 6: Attach!
The trickiest piece here was finding a location on the spokes that allowed the bat not to slip around too much (a concern of the second graders in particular). With the smaller wheels, we found it was best to twist the eye pipe cleaner around an 'x' in the spokes, which kept it in place. The larger wheel seemed to allow for it to stay in place more easily. Keeping the bat in between the two sets of spokes helps ensure it won't tangle in anything, but be sure to check clearances before setting off for school or elsewhere!