There’s nothing quite like burying your nose in the centre of an aromatic flower or feeling a caterpillar tickle its way up your arm. Childhood should be filled with memories like these: physical interactions with the natural world in all its sensory glory. Craft activities are a great way to encourage kids to get up close to nature and the holidays are the ideal time to get crafty out in the garden.
So far this summer we've been stimulating the senses by making edible petal ice cubes - cool blue borage petals, calendula petals for a yellow and orange zing and a few lavender petals to add a delicate floral aroma to homemade elderflower cordial.
To engage our senses of smell we’ve been gathering posies of herbs for the bath – lavender, rosemary and mint – putting them in a muslin bag and leaving it under the water for a few minutes for a natural bathtime treat.
We’ve been getting artistic too and painting rocks from the garden to leave under hedgerows in the neighbourhood for other children to find. Paint works well for the designs or you can use permanent markers.
To finish an extra special rock, you can varnish with a clear lacquer to seal in the design. If your area runs a ‘#rocks’ campaign (with your town name added after the hashtag), you can even follow the journeys of your creations online.
Pressing flowers is a lovely way to learn more about different plants and create artworks to treasure. You can buy inexpensive flower presses or simply place the blooms between two sheets of paper in a heavy book. Once the flowers are pressed they add a delicate touch to homemade cards, labels and can be used to decorate notebooks and bookmarks.
Whatever your family gets up to this holiday, take advantage of the warmer weather to get crafty in the garden.
Remeber, not everyone reacts positively to all edible plants or other plant uses - if you aren't sure, please seek advice from a professional before using a plant for culinary or medicinal uses.