With the season’s splendor of beautiful flowers, it is the perfect time to preserve some color with an art project. We also work with flower pressing after a special event, or with fall leaves. The girls pressed their own flower girl bouquets from my sister’s wedding last summer, and they are proudly framed in the playroom. The children have been gardening since they were little babies and they love to see the color come to life each Spring and Summer. It is a rewarding activity to see the end result of all of that gardening! Children love flower arranging, both in soil/garden and in a vase. Flower pressing is an extension on the Montessori Flower Arranging Practical Life activity for Care of Environment.
We have a few flower presses, but you can make your own out of some large books stored in a dry place. First, organize cut flowers onto acid-free paper. The wonderful part about it is that there is no wrong way to arrange flowers to press, which makes this very kid friendly. Any way they fit on the paper makes for a very interesting end product. White brings out the color the most, but it is also fun to play with interesting backgrounds while arranging. Once the flowers are arranged on a flat paper, place another flat paper on the top like a sandwich. Then, apply heavy pressure from the bottom and the top. Two dictionaries or encyclopedias work wonderfully. We mark on the calendar how long two weeks will take, counting down the days until we see our pretty flowers dry and flat. Waiting for these serves as a great way to practice delayed gratification, and measurements of time.
After about two weeks, gently open your arrangements. They can be laminated, ironed on low between wax paper, or framed in a collage. Rubbing with a horizontal bare crayon can make beautiful crayon-resist art, using watercolor over wax crayon prints. Pressed flowers make wonderful greeting cards. Teachers can make beautiful work for science with pressed plants!
See what you can do with the things found in nature!
Jessie is a Primary Montessori Teacher and Mom to twin three year olds and a five year old. Jessie has a Montessori blog at The Education Of Ours, and can be found on Twitter.