Project #8: Magic Wool Fleece Trees
for Story Props and Play Toys
Time: 20 minutes maximum
Difficulty: A piece of cake
Over the years of being a kindergarten teacher, I often used a simple prop such as a nature craft when telling a story to help the children spark ideas for their own play and storytelling fun too. Many stories or play games need a tree or two, and I’ve used wooden ones, ones made from pipe cleaners, and stick trees. But I like these magic wool fleece trees the best because children can easily make them without needing to rely upon an adult. The best kind of toy is one that children can make themselves!
1. I found this stick along the pathway that runs along my local river. With four prongs of differing heights, it is perfect.
2. I wrapped the tips of each branch with magic wool fleece. This is sheep’s wool that has been combed so all the fibres run in one direction, then dyed in all the colours of the rainbow. If you type in ‘magic wool’, ‘wool fleece’ or ‘felting’ into google, you’ll find plenty of suppliers. I started about 1cm from the tip, wound a 1cm wide strip of fleece (about 30 cm long) towards the tip, then back again along the length. But only covering about 3 cm of the stick end. If you have too much, gently pull off the excess. To secure, you just gently pull the fleece until it becomes a ‘thread’ and keep winding that around until you have no thread left.
3. I like to use more than one strip of colour too. This helps the tree to look a little more natural. I twisted these colours together and used this strip to wind around branch tips.
4. If you can’t find one good stick, you can always put a few sticks together like this in a vase or bottle.
5. To make the canopy, take a few strands of magic wool fleece in a number of green colours. I pulled the fibres out and mixed them up and around to make a little pillow.
6. The pillow of magic wool fleece sits on top of the tree branches. Pull into shape as you like. I do like to keep the branch shapes underneath the pillow of fleece visible if I can. It looks more natural. I put my trees in glass bottles filled with sand to weight them down but you can use any kind of vase or container you choose.
To see all 30 Nature Crafts, visit here.