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Flowers and gardening

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By Karen Hartwriter

Make wild flower decorations, flower garlands, a mini-pond and even a snail hotel!

Flowers and gardens 5

Most of the following art and craft activities make use of natural objects easily found in any woodland, park or garden. The collecting of these objects is a lovely activity in its own right – everyone loves a treasure hunt, and it’s good to use natural objects in craft sessions sometimes – the textures, smells and colours being lovely to work with

Key Stage 1

Make a wild flower table decoration

Flowers and gardens 2

This is a great activity to take outside where children can sort through their collections of bits and pieces without making lots of tidying up afterwards – everything’s easily swept up outside

You will need:
  • 1 carrier bag per child
  • Baby wipes
  • 1 little pot per decoration – for example, yoghurt pots
  • Baking foil
  • Small piece of plasticine or play dough

Start the activity off with a treasure hunt. This could easily become a day’s activity on its own – children love hunting for things and seeing what they can find. Make sure every child has a carrier bag so they can keep their own bits separate from everyone else’s, and also collect your own bag of objects to ensure there will be enough suitable things for everyone’s decoration, as you may find some children have filled their bags up immediately with handfuls of fallen leaves and mud. Look out for bits which will be good for sticking in pots – twiggy bits with leaves on are good.

Have little pots ready covered in foil, bunching foil up a bit around the top of the pot for a nice effect – no need for any glue, and put a little lump of plasticine or playdough in the bottom of each pot. Now just hand out the little pots and let children create their own decoration, giving help as needed. Try using this activity at different times of the year as children will find different natural objects depending on the season.

Pressed Flowers

Try taking a few nice leaves and flowers from each child’s collection and pressing them between a couple of sheets of tissue paper in a large book. Place the book under more books to give it a good squeeze, and carefully open it up every week to show children how things are coming along. Once nicely pressed, you could arrange objects on a sheet of paper and laminate for display in your setting. Also, let children have a look and feel of the pressed flowers, as although they are very delicate, this is all part of the experience; working with natural objects being very different to working with man-made materials.

Flower garlands

Flowers and gardens 3

You will need:
  • A large needle and thread
  • Old magazines/scrap paper
  • Plastic drinking straws – stripy or brightly coloured
  • Flower templates made from stiff card
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