I have been inspired by the Forestry Commission and their woodland weaving campaign this autumn. As grownups we know that the colours in our woodlands are quite stunning in autumn and the windfalls from nature on the floor plentiful, but this doesn’t necessarily inspire kids. Turn spotting nature’s bounty in to a treasure hunt and weave it’s magic into the fabric of the forest and you have the kids engaged. This week I thought I’d take a ‘leaf’ out of the forestry commission’s book and add in a little Halloween twist for good measure. The result: Woodland Weaving meets Halloween.
Making black spiders
In preparation we set a spider’s web of string between two trees down by the river and painted a stack of toilet rolls black. As the children arrived and I announced woodland weaving meets Halloween as the theme, the children looked a little confused, but as I explained further they soon grasped what I had in mind and set about following my spider making instructions.
Each toilet roll made two spiders, one we were going to take on a woodland walk to make our giant Halloween spider’s web and one was going to be reserved for later.
The children chose a spider for the walk and raced along towards the river. Once there, the spiders were carefully placed in the web.
Woodland Weaving into a giant spiders webs
But hang on a minute, the spider web still looked a little bare. Spiders may feast on other insects, but these insects are attracted to flowers and pollen so we filled our spider’s web with the treasures we found down by the river to attract an insect or two for our spiders. We were blessed with the last of the sunlight for the day shining through our web making it more mysterious and beautiful than scary, probably a good thing for the younger children!
The lure of paddling in the river soon became part of the treasure hunt and one by one the children ventured in. Chilly water came perilously close to the top of little boots but everyone remained dry.
Mini Dream Catcher Woodland Spider Webs
Admiring their work the children were keen to make their own mini spider webs with woodland weaving and spiders inside. Just as well we still had one spider back at the craft table! Before heading back the children each had to find 3 sticks as the frame for their web. These were then bound together with wool at the corners and a web pattern formed.
The children placed their spiders in the middle just as they had done for my giant web and then headed to the fairy gardens in search of woodland weaving material. They were spoilt for choice with golden leaves lining the floor.
Each left with their own carefully designed spider’s web to hang outside their door and a lovely woodland decoration for Coombe Mill down by the river. A couple of the parents were doing forest school groups with their children and were thrilled to be taking the idea home to share. We ran out of time for the other crafts I had planned but they are stored in my mind for another week!
If you fancy trying this one do check out the Forestry Commission website and download their activity pack which has details of how to make a mini woven forest and more ideas as well as details of your nearest forest. They make a great day out and after all that exploring their cosy woodland cafes are stacked with homemade treats and hot drinks to revive you.
I am an official forest blogger promoting our forests, however I have not been paid to write this post.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares life on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. Step into our beautiful 30 acres and experience nature close up with farming and educational crafts in stunning North Cornwall. Family, fun and adventure start here.