It’s wildflower season here in Colorado – my favorite time of year to hike in the mountains surrounded by color! Last week we went up to one of our favorite spots and collected the most gorgeous bouquet, including some of my favorites: chiming bells, larkspur, Indian paintbrush, lilies and geraniums.
I’ve already pressed these beauties for a special project – but more on that later!
Learning About Wildflowers
The best way, in my opinion, to learn about wildflowers is to see and study them in “real life”! Go out on a nature walk or a hike, or even stop by the side of the road to see what wildflowers pop up year after year in your area. Note which ones grow near water, in a sunny field, along roadsides, on the forest floor.
Have your kids record the wildflowers they observe in their nature journals and bring a few home for activities (Remember to collect sparingly! Wildflowers are an important part of the ecosystem – they provide food for animals, nectar for bees and butterflies, and allowing them to go to seed will ensure many more years of beauty.)
You can use plain, bound notebooks for nature journaling, or check out these wildflower journaling pages included in the Summer Journal (you can find out more about that here).
Easy Flower Pounding Activity
This is a fun one! We used some upcycled cotton fabric which will be turned into Christmas presents later on (bags or zipper pouches, maybe?), but you can do this using paper as well.
- Collect wildflowers, leaves, and/or any flowers from your garden – pansies, petunias, roses and geraniums work especially well
- Place your flowers face down on fabric or paper, with a cutting board underneath (to prevent the surface from becoming stained)
- Tape in place using painter’s tape or masking tape
- Cover your flowers with a piece of parchment paper
- Using a metal hammer or rubber mallet, make short and strong taps over the entire surface of each flower. You can peek every now and then to see how much of the color has transferred. Ours took quite a bit of pounding.
- Carefully peel back the tape and flowers. You can use a plastic spatula or skillet scraper to scrape off the stuck-on bits
- Hang to dry
I’ve had several people ask if these can be washed; if you’re wondering the same thing, you can see a step-by-step tutorial for prepping the fabric here: https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/How-to-Flower-Pound-on-Fabric
One of my favorite things to do with wildflowers is to press them. There are many different ways of doing that, but the easiest in my opinon is to use a flower press. The colors stay vibrant and it protects their delicate shapes much better than some alternative methods I’ve tried in the past. This is the one we have and we use it often!
Once your flowers are pressed, you can turn them into gifts or carefully paste them into your notebook or nature journal to make your very own local field guide.
Check out these great ideas for pressed flowers.
Picture Books about Wildflowers
Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers – How a First Lady Changed America
Learn more about colorful wildflowers in The Summer Journal, a guided nature journal and nature study curriculum with over 50 pages of illustrated field guides, journaling prompts, activities, coloring pages and more.
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