Vine Crowns


Here in Southern California the vines that lay dormant most of the year are now stretching and growing in the sunshine after feeding on the rains. Take a walk and see if you can identify some of the native vines in your area. Don’t forget to always pack a picnic!


Before you go, make sure to identify poison oak, ivy, and sumac so that everyone knows to stay clear of those. Also, be aware that they may not have leaves yet, but the bare vines of the poisonous plants can still create a rash. Children will delight to learn and identify these nasty plants, as many adults are not even able to do so.

Next, find a place to go. Remember it is illegal to collect from preserves and government run parks. Perhaps you can find some on your own land or that of a friends. We enjoyed the trails of my ranch home in Escondido, CA.

Now, on to the fun stuff. The girls found wild cucumber (Marah macrocarpa) vine to work with. After clipping lengths about 3 feet long, they made a circle the size of their head and twisted the excess vine all around that circle.

If all else fails, you can also try their second idea of taping flowers to a paper cut out crown.

Why I love this:

It was self lead by the children

It got us all outside to enjoy nature and to move our bodies

We learned about new plants and nature

We created with our hands which helps with fine motor skills, problem solving, creative thinking, individuality and aesthetic design sense.


Contributed by Grace Spath (@needlesandspines) 

Photography by Jenny Bowman Walker