Family Time Calendar: Get Crafty - iVillage

A summer storm blows through and leaves your yard littered with fallen branches. Before you clean it up, let the kids find a branch that's in the shape of the letter Y. Why? Because that's the beginning of a "nature's tapestry."

What you'll need:

  • Y-shaped branch
  • Roll of hemp or unbleached twine
  • "Bits of nature" (details below)

What you'll do:

Cut a length of hemp, at least a yard long.

If you have a Y-shaped "frame," tie the hemp to the top of one of the upper branches. Wind the hemp around the upper V portion at least 20 times. Overlap the hemp as you wind it around, so it crosses over itself in many places. Add another length of hemp if the lattice looks too skimpy -- it should be full enough to look like a net.

Let the kids take their natural framework on a nature walk. As they find bits of nature on the ground, help them carefully tuck items into the hemp lattice.

Encourage the kids to look for interesting leaves, flowers on stems (pick them only with permission), bird feathers, prickly burrs, seed pods and long wild grasses. Tiny twigs can add dimension. Small acorns or pebbles can be held in place with some more hemp, if needed.

When the framework is filled to the young artist's satisfaction, hang it up on a small nail. As the items dry, the tapestry's look will change. If the kids don't like the "dried" look, no problem -- they can remove the items and start again on another day.

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