This is a really fun way to spend an hour or so in the backyard with the kids. You'll be surprised how much you "discover" as you hunt around for your weaving materials!
The original idea for this craft came from Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children ~ a favorite book for nature crafts, by the way! The book suggests weaving yarn into the loom (which would be lovely in the fall) but we went directly to the backyard for our spring weaving supplies. ;)
First thing to do, have the kids look around for small branches that have a Y-shape. They are quite easy to find, but if you think this might test their patience, scout out some branches yourself beforehand. Then, wind a length of twine across the V-portion of the branch for the warp. (You could use yarn here, but I liked the neutral shade of the twine as well as its sturdiness.) Secure the twine at the bottom, weave it back and forth across the branch to the top, and then tie it off at one side. Voila ~ a little Earth Loom!
Now, have your children start finding bits of Spring to weave into in their looms ...
We all worked on one loom together, but you might like to give each of your children their own.
Our final results:
What made this activity especially fun was the way it got the kids down on their knees examining all the things growing around the yard. They also found lots of dried bits of nature leftover from the fall.
Some of things we wove into our loom:
- blades of grass
- pine needles
- small twigs
- dried helicopter seeds
- dried hydrangea blossoms
- tree buds
- tiny acorn caps
- forsythia and lilac branches
- a bit of birch bark found on the ground
- a fuzzy herb leaf
- a feather
When our loom was complete I placed it on our nature shelf. As expected, the living things started to shrivel pretty quickly. (A good lesson there.) The boys pointed out this loom would make a fun plaything for younger children ~ it seemed something like a fairy wand or maybe a royal elven staff. :)
I hope you will try the earth loom with your children sometime ~ and if you do, please let me know! In the meantime ... have a GREAT day, everyone!