Happy autumn equinox! Today marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere as the sun crosses the earth’s celestial equator and the amount of day and night are approximately the same. From here on out, days get shorter and nights get longer.
To welcome this shift and prepare for longer nights ahead, you might gather your kids for a read-aloud with blankets, hot cocoa and candles. Or, consider making a favorite fall treat and watching a spooky movie. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, take your little ones — or big ones — for a neighborhood walk and see if you can find a Y-shaped tree branch or two to make this craft together, which was inspired by this wonderful book in our collection. For younger kids, be mindful of pointy edges and keep a close eye when assembling.
- Y-shaped tree branch or single straight branch
- Nature objects (optional)
A few things to keep in mind: Thick yarn and branches with a narrow Y shape make for quicker projects than thin yarn and branches with a wide Y shape. Younger kids may wish to wrap a single straight branch.
After finding your branch, begin by tying a double knot at the base of the Y section.
Holding the base of the branch with one hand and using the other to weave, wrap the yarn over one arm of the Y and then under toward the gap. Then, wrap back over the opposite arm of the Y and under toward the gap. Repeat this pattern. Hint: Weave loosely at first, until you get the hang of it.
Continue this weaving pattern or any other wrapping method you choose. There’s no wrong way to do this!
Keep wrapping the branch as far up as you’d like. When you are finished, make a knot on one arm of the branch to keep your weaving from unraveling. After cutting the end of the yarn, you can also weave in the end between strands on the back side.
Finally, decorate with additional nature objects and make it your own! Weave in bark or freshly fallen leaves, dangle pine cones or twigs or hang your weaving by turning the “Y” upside down and attaching a loop of yarn.
Before you go, here are some free, family-friendly activities you can do around town to celebrate the season:
- Saturday, September 24th, 4-9 p.m. – 13th Annual Harvest Hootenanny at Columbia’s Agricultural Park. 1769 West Ash, Columbia, MO 65203.
- Saturday, October 1st, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Missouri Chestnut Roast Festival at MU Horticulture & Agroforestry Research Farm. 10 Research Center Rd, New Franklin, MO 65274.
- Saturday, October 8th & Sunday, October 9th, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival. Hartsburg, MO 65039.