Both my children love flowers! There isn’t a walk we can go on without them stopping to pick a flower. Anything with an interesting looking leaf, or simply the daisies and dandelions growing along the grass verge are fair foraging.
Often I would get home with a bunch of flower heads and some leaves and be not quite sure what to do with them. So this is where the idea to create a flower printing invitation to play came from.
This is such an easy flower printing activity to set up.
You can either surprise your kids with a bunch of flowers and some paint, or you could turn it into a little adventure, and take your kids foraging on a garden walk. Just have them pick a bunch of different flowers and leaves to experiment with.
Some flowers are obviously better at leaving an impression than others. My daughter wasn’t that impressed with the print the dandelion left behind. But we found that the agapanthus left a great flower print from the flowers we selected.
And that is, of course, part of the fun of this project. It’s all about experimenting, and trying different things out, to see what you come up with. There isn’t a ‘wrong’ way to do this.
Flower printing – Invitation to play
You will need
A range of different flowers and leaves
A sheet of paper – we used a nice thick watercolour paper but any paper will do
Resene test pots ( I used Buzz, Yabbadabbadoo, Unicorn, Ballerina, lickety Split, Shooting Star and So Cool.
A green felt tip pen
What to do
1. Collect a bunch of different flowers and leaves
2. Set up the invitation to play by placing a drop sheet down first. Then arrange the lids of the Resene test pots next to each other so they’re easy to reach (I found using the lids of these paint pots was perfect for dipping the flowers into). Then lay a sheet of paper down and arrange your flowers next to the paper. Make sure you have a container or some newspaper laid down next to your children’s work area so they can easily deposit the used flowers on it. That way you won’t end up with painted flowers all over the floor.
3. On the blank piece of paper draw a bunch of steams. You can either have your children do this or do it for them as part of the invitation to play.
4. Now invite your children to create their own wild garden scene by dipping the flowers and leaves into the paint pot lids and pressing them onto the paper. This will create a print of the flower on the paper. We found that with one good dip of paint on the flower you can get 3 or 4 good prints from it. Often the 2nd and 3rd print brought out more of the flower detail.
5. Once your children have finished painting with the flowers let the print dry.
These make lovely pieces of art that your children could give away as gifts, make into cards for loved ones, or, like us, frame them to put on your child’s wall to admire.
Our kids are learning and developing…
Cognitive – A great way to build your child’s cognitive skills is by encouraging your children to analyse and question the different effects between the different flowers and leaves. You could ask them things like, ‘which flower produces the best print’, ‘do you know the names of these flowers’, ‘what colours do you think work best in your picture’. When kids are given opportunities like this they are starting to develop a sense of innovation that will be important in their adult lives.
Communication – A great way to encourage you children to build on their communication skills is by discussing the different affects each flower makes. Also you can introduce new the names of the flowers and leaves they are using. This leads to new words being discovered and vocabulary building. Children will often create stories or narrate to themselves about what they are doing.
Physical skills – Practising fine motor skills helps small children perform everyday skills like cutting, self care tasks and pencil skills. Small children practise their fine motor skills by using the small muscles in their hands to dip and print.
For heaps more craft ideas, check out our Creative arts and crafts section.