Jessica Cresswell founder of lifestyle blog The Woodland Wife has always loved getting outdoors and knows how important it is to instill this in our children. She shares with Little London a beautiful outdoor activity to do with little ones
In the days of machines, technology, plastic, concrete and flashing images, sometimes it is important for not only ourselves, but especially our children, to take a step back to the “good old days” when children could take something in their hands and feel a connection; they could physically make something and feel huge pride in something that they had created.
A few days ago, my daughter and I headed off into our woodland in search of wild flowers to press as a little project. We gathered any flower we could find, the odd leaf, the last of the bluebells from this season and brought them home with us. We may live in the countryside, but I believe that wherever you live, there are always spaces to explore, play and collect Nature’s treasure.
As a child I lived in London with my family; we lived behind a park and me and my sisters would spend hours happily playing there and in our garden. We lived on a beautiful tree lined street with terrace houses, either side so, I know that these are the perfect places to go searching for flowers and natural treasure. If you can’t find any, or the weather isn’t up to much, you can always visit your local florist, as well as having a quick look around your own garden or terrace.
Once we gathered all our tiny flowers, we headed home and got out our large flower press that we had bought from Hedgehog, a London based company, full of beautiful, practical and classic toys for children, and set about arranging and pressing our flowers. If you don’t have a flower press, you can always use some kitchen roll and a large book to press them in.
I have often found it hard to sit back and let my daughter arrange things like this, but it is so important. Let your child arrange the flowers in any way they choose; this is a project for them to do with you, so let them take the lead and I am sure you will end up with a very special arrangement. My daughter carefully placed the flowers just how she wanted and then we set about pressing them.
I used to leave the arrangements in the press when I was little, however, a few days after we pressed our flowers and once we were sure that the flowers had dried out, we unwound our press and saw the pressed flowers in all their beauty. Using a pair of tweezers I carefully took the flowers off the press and put them to one side. With some glue and lots of imagination, we set about using our pressed flowers to make ‘fairy clothes’ on a simple sketch of a fairy.
This made the most wonderful keepsake of our adventures collecting flowers and my little girl loved dressing up a fairy. It doesn’t have to be a fairy of course, you could draw an elf, make a bookmark, frame the pressed arrangement in a photo frame, there are lots of keepsakes you can make with pressed flowers.
It is so nice to have a little activity for children that involves nature and to simply stop, create and make memories together.
Images: Jessica Cresswell, The Woodland Wife