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Living willow workshop for children - a fun day for kids, staff and parents

Last week we ran our first living willow workshop for children, parents and staff at Brue Farm Day Nursery. The interactive day comprised two elements: the construction of a living willow play dome, and making small willow items with the children. The willow was grown locally in Somerset by Musgrove Willows.

After planting the willow rods prior to the workshop, I showed the staff how to weave the willow and tie it in place using willow whips, and after a bit of practice they were able to work together to create the dome. They found it an addictive process and great for team building! Here they are hard at work.

Living willow workshop for children1

Alongside this, I worked with the staff and parents to help the children make some small willow decorative objects to take home, using simple shapes such as bugs, hearts and fish. It was really rewarding to see how everyone took the ideas and developed them into some lovely items - here are some of the fantastic things items they made.

Living willow workshopfor children2  Living willow workshop for children3  Living willow workshop for children4

We had a lot of funLiving willow workshop for children5 and at the end of the day had a virtually complete living willow dome, plus lots of amazing decorations. I went back the following day to install a watering system, finish spreading the play bark inside the dome, and finish up the dome, including adding some little windows, and here is a detail of the finished dome.

We had great feedback from the Brue Farm team and parents on how successful and fun the day was. The children are already enjoying playing in their new dome, which will provide welcome shade later in the year as it comes into leaf, as well as lots of opportunities for Forest Skills work.

Having installed a variety of living willow structures, fedges and arbours for private clients in recent years, living willow workshops for children are an exciting new opportunity for us to work with the local community.

~ Claire

Posted 27 March 2015

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