Nature crowns are magical things. Weaving branches, flowers, leaves and little bits of nature into a crown, gives children a wonderful opportunity to connect with nature, develop fine motor skills and engage in imaginative outdoor play.
Earth Friendly Crowns
Nature crowns come in all shapes and sizes but the one thing I love about them is that they are made with 100% nature! A nature crown has no fake flowers, no wire, no ribbons other pieces of plastic in them. When your child tires of playing with their crown it can be safely composted.
Ribbon is pretty! On special occasions, my children we will weave ribbons into their nature crowns. We just make sure to remove the ribbon (and reuse it!) before composting the crown.
How to Make a Willow Nature Crown
Step 1: Gather a couple weeping willow branches and other bits of nature.
Gather your supplies:
- A few weeping willow branches
- Other bits of nature (flowers, leaves, berries, feathers)
What is a weeping willow tree?
A weeping willow is a deciduous tree that is commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere (North America, Europe and parts of Asia). The tree likes to grow near fresh water lakes and ponds and has long thin branches with light green leaves that can grow all the way to the ground. The branches are perfect for weaving into nature crowns because they are long and flexible.
You will only need one or two weeping willow branches for a willow crown. Try looking for branches that have fallen on the ground. If there aren’t any, gently harvest a couple branches from the tree.
No weeping willows?
If there are no weeping willows in your area a good alternative is grape vines or other bendy branches.
Guidelines for harvesting nature:
Children need to touch, play and gather nature to learn to love and protect it! Harvesting nature with your child is a wonderful opportunity to talk about sustainable harvesting:
- Try to harvest a small amount of nature from each patch that you find. For example, if you find a patch of beautiful flowers only take a few from the patch.
- Choose to harvest plants that are common and regrow quickly (i.e. dandelions or yarrow) instead of plants that are less common and take a long time to grow.
- Don’t remove the entire plant from the ground.
- Avoid harvesting nature in protected parks, nature reserves, neighbour’s yard and city parks unless you have permission to do so.
A general rule is to collect only five percent of any individual patch of a given species within a maximum of 25 percent of an area.– Harvesting and Processing Edible Wild Plants
Step 2: Measure your child’s head.
Once you’ve gathered weeping willow branches and other bits of nature, take one long willow branch and wrap it around your child’s head to measure how big the crown should be.
Older children can easily do this step on their own and can even help younger children out. It’s helpful to measure the crown a little on a loose side if you plan on weaving lots of flowers or other bits of nature into the crown.
Step 3: Weave a circlet out of the willow branch.
Now your child has figured out how big the crown needs to be, weave or wrap the willow branch around the circle to make a willow circlet. Little hand may need a help with this step.
Step 4: Decorate the willow crown with flowers and other bits of nature.
Now it’s time to decorate the willow crown! Weave flowers and other bits of nature into the circlet but tucking in stems into the willow crown. Some children prefer a willow crown that’s unadorned and that’s wonderful too. Use scissors to trim away any long stems or bits that are poking out in funny directions.
Step 5: Wear your willow nature crown!
Time to wear your beautiful crown and see what adventures await you!