Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nature's Dreamcatchers

Who hasn't felt the temptation of letting your kids do this all day, when it's raining outside, the housework is piling up, and your kids are actually quiet and occupied (by Spiderman on youtube!)?

But of course, we have their little minds, bodies, and spirits to guide and nurture, so, after a bit of cajoling ("Spiderman doesn't watch movies all day; he goes outside to play to keep his body strong and healthy!") we wandered into the woods that surround our house.

This old cedar bush is dense, lush, and full of nature's treasures...gnarled trees to climb, gooseberry bushes to navigate around, and adventures just waiting to happen.

Looking for those deep eyes and wacky hair...

With a basket of materials in hand, I snapped this rare mama photo (you mamas out there know who is always behind the camera in YOUR houses...) Can you tell I had to clamp Jude against me to keep him still for this?

Grandma arrived to help with today's craft: Dreamcatchers.

First, bend a flexible twig (we used wild grapevine) into a circular shape; overlap ends and secure with yarn/string.

Next, pull yarn across and around in a random web pattern (or create a star!); we wrapped it once at each point where it met the circle, to keep the yarn from sliding.

Your little one can then weave in flowers, feathers, grass, and whatever he/she desires. Violet was thrilled to participate in creating these beautiful dreamcatchers!

We made three, one for each child, and for each window in their shared bedroom. Sweet dreams!

(Find details of this lovely craft, and other inspiration in "Nature's Playground: Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get Outdoors" by Fionna Danks and Jo Schofield).

What outdoor adventures did you get into this week?


  1. OMG - those are simply dreamy (ha!) LOVE them. We're big on dream catchers here. My kidlets will have such fun making these! Beautiful photos, mama. That one of Jude looking up amongst the trees is so majestic.

  2. What a great thing to do on a rainy day. They all look beautiful. I love the picture of them (the dreamcatchers that is) hanging on the wall.
    Our main outdoor adventure involved heading to Westboro Beach for some sand play, beach glass hunting and rock collecting. I suspect Hazel would suggest that dinner on the beach was the best part. Although "dinner" is a strong word...the canteen did have veggie burgers however....and beer.
    Have a great day.

  3. My children have built a "pioneer house" at the edge of our woods- with pinecones for food things, a stick-pile cooking area, transplanted grass, and muddy-sand shaped into loaves of bread and cakes- which have dried and are still holding their shape! They are 11 and 8, and I love that they would rather play there, than sit at the computer.

  4. lovely! outdoor weaving is on our "slightly" longish to-do list! Perhaps as a summer solstice project!!

  5. I love this idea. I'm actually sad that my daughter will be at school all day tomorrow as I want to do this with her now. I think she would LOVE it. We'll have to set it aside for after school and I will see if I can find some colourful yarn to weave with. Hard to find around here....bliss! Thanks for sharing and such wonderful photos too..


  6. Dear Stephanie,
    Those dream catchers are so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing on Creative Friday:)

  7. Really funky and magical. I love watching moms and dads play with their kids- and help them see what's really all around them. YAY!


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