Willow creations and a dash of sunshine

It’s been quite a hectic week, hence the lack of blogging!

The weather has been glorious. It seems to have got warmer and sunnier as the week has progressed. Today was fantastic t-shirt weather and definitely ideal for hanging the washing out (hence the photo of my pegs on the washing line)!! It really feels like summer is coming now. I just hope that this fantastic weather stays with us for the half term holiday which started today.

Pegs on the washing line

I have also appreciated the sunshine during Forest School. We’ve had a couple of lovely sessions this week. On Monday with the year 6 class we made willow platters. When the task was being demonstrated to the class it looked really complicated. I envisaged the children encountering difficulty with the task, but actually they embraced it and produced brilliant finished pieces.

Here’s my sons willow platter:
Willow Platter


  1. You will need approx 6 – 10 pieces of willow.
  2. First you need to create a hoop from the willow. Starting with the thick end, twist it into a small hoop (approx 4″ – 6″ diameter) and then weave around the remainder. Tuck in the end piece to keep it neat. Then you need to cut two centre “braces” which are about 1″- 2″ longer than the diameter. These will sit across the centre of your hoop – initially they will be loose but as you weave in the willow they will become steady. You might find it easier to use just one brace at first, until you have woven in a few pieces.
  3. You are now ready to start weaving in willow pieces. Cut off lengths of willow that are about 1″- 2″ longer than the diameter of the hoop. Starting in the centre, weave the first piece over the hoop edge, then under the centre braces, finishing off over the hoop edge again. The next piece will then weave under the hoop edge, over the centre braces and back under the hoop edge. Carry on weaving in pieces alternating each one.
  4. It will start to look like this.
    Willow Platter
  5. As you go along push all the pieces together, keeping them tightly packed together.
  6. Carry on weaving in pieces until there is not space to add any more. It should now look like this.
    Willow Platter
  7. Finally, you will need to neaten it all up by trimming off all the excess willow using a pair of secateurs. Leave about 0.5″ around the edge, following the line of the hoop.
    Willow Platter
  8. Now after all your hard work you can grab yourself a drink, which you can place on your willow platter!
    Willow Platter Coaster

On Tuesdays Forest School session we made willow “fish mobiles”. These are a bit too complicated for a novice like me to provide instructions! I had a go at making one. They are quite fiddly and the children (year 4) found it quite frustrating. They required quite a bit of assistance (which was hard for me as I didn’t really know what I was doing either)!

Here is my finished mobile, now hanging outside the back door along with my daughters:

Willow Fish Mobile


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