Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Flower Prints

The basics ...
My girls and I went to the Davidson Farmers Market a few weeks ago and they were doing a great craft - flower prints. If you have kids with short-attention spans or children who like to bang things, this is the project for you.

You will need:

Assorted colorful flowers
Paper (paper with a little texture works well)
Wax paper
Rubber mallet


"I found blue!"
This activity started with a flower hunt - my kids were told to find one flower per color so as not to decimate my mother's lovely gardens. The mission was successful; as they ran around the yard, I could hear them calling out, "I found yellow!" and "Does anyone have blue?" For the most part, they all stuck to the "one flower per color" rule.

After collecting the flowers, the real fun began ... the banging. Using somewhat rough paper, the kids arranged the flowers (or just the petals) face down on the paper placed on a hard surface. (We used scraps of wooden boards.) I tore off a piece of wax paper roughly the size of the paper and placed it over the flower - one flower at a time works best and then they can rearrange the flowers or petals as they wish. Using a rubber mallet, the kids banged away on their little flower, trying to transfer some color and even a little bit of the petal imprint, to the paper.

Watch your fingers!
Helpful hints ... After much experimenting, we discovered that "little bangs" were better at transferring color from the petal to the paper. "Big bangs" with the rubber mallet were not very successful. We also tried to eliminate the wax paper and just hit the flower but, for the most part, that technique did not work well at all. The girls also tried to get the flowers a little bit wet before they banged them, a little too much water quickly made the paper a soggy mess so we opted not to dampen the flowers at all - being that they were freshly picked, they were a little damp to begin with.  Also, although a rubber mallet is not too heavy, it is probably a good idea to remind your little people not to put their fingers in the way!

Try different flowers, different colors, different papers. Let the children "experiment" to see what works the best! Have fun!

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