A morning spent with two frustrated little ones, and a vase of flowers that are looking a little past their best resulted in one of the best activities we have done together in a long time, reigniting our love of nature play.
In a time where homeschooling takes centre stage but by week 6 or 7, the novelty has certainly worn off, we were all out of creative ideas to get the little ones motivated. The seeds we so lovingly planted and nurtured in week 1 of lockdown have wilted and died, the love for them is no longer there. The butterflies we nurtured from tiny caterpillars have flown on to pastures new and we now find ourselves in a daily struggle of battling school work vs letting Youtube reign supreme.
The activity itself is very straight forward, and what I love is that you don’t need to go too far out of your way to source the materials. All you will need is…
1 piece of cotton – we used an old pillow case cut into squares
1 piece of paper/card – we used a thick piece of watercolour paper
A selection of leaves and flowers, which can be foraged out on your daily walks, picked from the garden or leftover flowers from a vase. We used a mixture of blossom, green leaves, stocks, forget me nots and some grass.
A hammer, rolling pin or other large heavy object, but something safe for the children to use.
Using the paper or card as your base, use this to build your flower pattern. I would advise taping the edges to stop the paper moving about when the flower smashing begins.
It was so interesting to see which flowers the children picked and the difference in patterns that they chose. Naturally the wolf cub opted for a more organised pattern, whilst the wildflower just went all in and threw her flowers all over the place.
Once happy with your designs, simply place the cotton over the top of the flower design, so that the flowers are sandwiched between the paper and the cotton. Again you may wish to control the chaos and apply more tape as there can be movement when we get to the fun part.
Once ready, take your weapon of choice, we used rolling pins as they seemed like the safest option, and smash away. Making sure to expose the colour within the petals. It’s really interesting to see which colours emerge, as it isn’t always as you’d expect. Our blossom flowers for instance created a lovely pop of orange from the pollen.
When the flower smashing is complete and you’ve smashed as much colour out as you can, its now the fun part … releasing your art work.
Carefully un-tape the edges, and using a brush or your hands gently wipe away the ‘petal mush’ to reveal your creation. You might find your pattern has withstood the chaos or an entirely new pattern has been revealed.
Allow to dry in the sunshine, and iron fabric where necessary.
A wonderful way to release some energy and frustration, whilst having fun and making some beautiful pieces of artwork with your littles.
We had a lot of leftover petals, which we have since dried and saved for a future play dough based activity, but not before using a few at bath time to make some fairy potions with.
Happy Flower Smashing