You’re busy. Really busy. You’re rushing children around, getting groceries, paying bills, cleaning the house, catching up with family and friends, cooking dinners, while also trying build meaningful family time, perhaps you’re also working too.
Sometimes I forget that our children ride along side our busy lives. Their life is perhaps even busier, with their little minds growing so fast. They’re taking more in because so much of life is still new to them.
And many mothers may relax at the end of each day with a glass of wine, or in my case a warm cup of tea as the kids are finally sleeping soundly.
But how do our children unwind? Where’s their quiet space?
There may be a few of us that say television, I’ll raise my hand to being guilty of that occasionally. It worries me that I am accepting of 1-2 hours of screen time a day, thinking this gives them rest. Frankly, it doesn’t, no matter how much I try to convince myself.
What if there was a better way to encourage your children wind down?
I didn’t realize how much we needed this nature weave until I’d made it. The nature weave teaches children mindfulness and relaxation.
Why is mindfulness important?
Mindfulness training has been to shown to reduce the severity of depression, anxiety and ADHD in children.
Mindfulness builds resilience by giving children skills to help them to cope better with stress, as well as engage more fully with themselves and the world. Kids Matter, 2017
We’ve had our backyard nature weaving frame for over three months now and to be honest, it doesn’t get used everyday, but it is used when it is needed.
I’ve noticed the girls using it when they need some quiet time away from their sisters or if they’re a little more emotional than normal. They enjoy quietly weaving the strands of grass through the strings using their fingertips and while they do that, I know their mind is in that moment and not anywhere else. It’s been wonderful for their soul.
I love it too. I’ve taken myself outside to weave when my brain is on overdrive and it needs to stop. It really works!
It’s also a beautiful feature in our gardens. It’s dearly loved.
What you’ll need
- Screws & drill
- Two planks of wood (or branches) 850mm long.
- Two long stakes 1640mm long
- Good quality string
Make the backyard nature weaving frame
- Check if your wood needs a sandpaper to remove any potential risk of splinters. The kids would love to help you with this activity.
- Lay out and measure up all the wood to make the frame ready. See the measurements below.
- Start with the top of the frame. Secure the top horizontal piece of wood onto the stakes, using the drill.
- Next, secure the bottom horizontal piece of wood onto the stakes using the drill.
- Once the frame is secure. Bring it up and bang it into the ground where you’d like to see it. You can lean it on something and finish off the next steps but to have the string really secure and tight, it’s best to have the frame in place.
- Cut lots of string 1140mm long. Bring the string over the top wooden plank and tie it on the bottom. Do this along the whole frame and try to space them evenly before tying each down the bottom. I tied my string in a bow, but if your children like to untie bows, best to tie a knot they can’t undo!
- Now you’re ready to weave nature.
What to use when you weave with nature
- long grass
- thin sticks
- fresh long-stemmed flowers
It might be a gorgeous feature in your backyard but remember it’s importance. It’s aim is for your child to have time alone. Be sure to let them do what ever they like with the weave, if they miss strings, it’s okay. If they weave it on a diagonal, it’s fine.
It doesn’t matter how it’s done, what matters is that your promoting calm, quiet time. You can show them how to weave initially if you they don’t know what to do but ultimately its best used as a solo experience.
Now it’s time to make your own backyard nature weaving frame. Your kids need it, and so do you!
More nature weaving frames
Not sure you can make this yourself? Here’s more simple weaving frames to try:
You may also like our
Nature Arts and Crafts Pack
This pack will provide hours of fun, learning,
and creativity for you and your children.
– Over 30 nature arts and craft printables
– Printables include an easy how-to instruction sheet
Just add nature to bring the printable to life!
C Vaughan says
I will definitely set a couple of these up in my yard next summer. What a wonderful idea! I also appreciate what you said about sharing mindfulness. Thanks.
cheryl davison says
When frame is full, build a new other one, or empty out and use again?
Penny Whitehouse says
It’s up to you Cheryl. We take ours out and start again 🙂
I am going to make one of these for myself! I’ve always saved the long tree branches when it’s pruning season. I might actually make several in different gardens…I have lots of garden spaces.
Penny Whitehouse says
I’m so glad this inspired you Linda xx
I LOVE this idea!!!! I think that I will also put out some yarn and thin fabric strips.
Patsy Moore says
This is a WONDERFUL activity which my children will enjoy making with me and then creating their own personal designs with nature. Thank you so much for this idea!
Penny Whitehouse says
You’re so welcome Patsy <3