I've selected seeds and plants this year that I know do well in our yard. The process of planting and growing a garden is just as meaningful as harvesting the product down the line. Pansies are a hearty flower that do well even early in the Spring here. They add a splash of seasonal color that begs me to join them outdoors. And yet, like all living things, those early colors of Spring are temporary. Don't you wish you could somehow preserve them forever? Oh wait, you can! With these simple DIY Nature Slides, you can bring a bit of the outdoors inside for further exploration and appreciation.
You will need:
- a selection of blooms and foliage from outdoors (or even cut flowers indoors) that you wish to observe and preserve
- a laminating machine and laminating sheets (or you can use an office supply store/copy center)
|Nature slides with real pansies paired with some artificial flowers as observed on our light panel|
Even if you do not have a light table, sunlight is a great tool. All you need is a window! Just look at the way these add color, light and inspiration to our Little Gardener's Sensory Bin!
And speaking of inspiration, imagine all of the ways you might use these nature slides to inspire or become artwork! I hole punched each slide and attached them to a metal ring to keep them together. Stored in our art center, they invite creative little ones to explore their colors and texture through a variety of mediums. We are especially into oil pastels and colored pencils here lately and any medium that can be blended (like watercolor, chalk pastels and paint) would surely be a great one to use.
Pressed and preserved flowers can easily become artwork in and of themselves. You could create lovely Spring bookmarks (what a cute Mother's Day gift) by arranging blooms on a laminating sheet in a long, narrow strip, cutting, punching a hole at the top and stringing through a tassel out of yarn or embroidery floss. You could also make a single sun catcher or set of sun catchers for a loved one's window (or your own, as pictured above by our sensory table).
However you choose to preserve those first blooms of Spring, surely time spent planting the seeds of great memories through play will leave a lasting impression. We'll be back soon and until then...