Fun Friday activities are quick-and-simple ways to explore nature in your own backyard.
When we were in Yosemite earlier this month, we were lucky enough to see some pretty amazing wildflowers. And as you might imagine, the kids were eager to gather bunches to share with mom.
Of course, I had something more creative in mind for the many petals the explorers managed to accumulate during our stay. With this inspiration from FamilyFun magazine in mind, we took our first stab at making pressed flowers.
Turns out the process is pretty simple. We placed our favorite flower petals between two paper towels, then put a heavy book on top. After a few days, the petals were dry and flat. Yay!
Just to be fancy, we decided to take our little nature-inspired project one step further. Using a laminator borrowed from my step-mom, we turned our pressed flowers into Christmas ornaments and bookmarks. (If you don’t have a laminator, clear contact paper should do the trick.)
This simple project helped us create keepsakes we’ll treasure every time we use one of our bookmarks and especially at Christmas time when we’ll hang our pressed flower ornaments on our tree. A little treasure from summer.
- Flat petals work best. When using the laminator, we discovered that the thicker, more three-dimensional petals didn’t lay as flat as we liked.
- Let the kids do the designing. The kids created each of their keepsakes, choosing which petals to use and how to arrange them. The big explorer even made some with colored paper, adding the date & location.
More Ideas for Summer Outdoor Fun
- Connect with a tree, My Little Bookcase
- Plant an herb garden, Adventures With Kids
- Build a fairy house or create a fairy garden
- Download the Nature Rocks Summer Activity Guide
- Or check out Your A-to-Z Guide to Summer Backyard Nature Fun for even more inspiration
And if you live in the Los Angeles area, celebrate Ocean Appreciation Day at the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium. Learn about the four critical habitats of the local bay: the sandy bottom, the kelp forest, the rocky shore and the open ocean. Games, arts and crafts projects, wildlife observation, music and naturalist presentations, and other nifty programs are also on the agenda. Sat-Sun., July 30-31, 12:30 to 6 p.m.