Capture the essence of springtime with a pretty pressed flower keepsake! Investigating the blooming beauties around her is a great opportunity for your child to dive into some flower science, and this fine motor skill-boosting activity encourages reading, too. Best of all, these bookmarks adorned with flowers native to your neighborhood make especially simple, inexpensive gifts for family or friends.
It's best to collect flowers on sunny days, when they are free from any dampness. Go on a nearby hike or walk around your neighborhood to look for colorful flowers and interesting plants that catch her eye. Just be sure that the area allows picking flowers, or that she asks the owner of the residence for permission.
What You Need:
- Flowers (several of the same type)
- Large hardcover book (such as an encyclopedia or dictionary)
- Sheet of card stock (a color that looks good with chosen flowers)
- Glue stick
- Contact paper for laminating
What You Do:
- Ask your child to point out the flowers that she wishes to use for her bookmark; cut them close to the stems to ensure that they can continue to grow.
- Have her place several flowers inside the middle of a large book. To avoid damaging the book, sandwich the flowers between two pieces of wax paper. For extra weight, try placing a few extra books on top. Leave them undisturbed for about seven to ten days, until they are thoroughly dried and flattened.
- Ask her to measure and cut a piece of card stock to her desired size for the bookmark. (1½" x 5" is an average size. She can decide on the size of the bookmark based on the size of her chosen flowers.)
- On one side of the bookmark, invite her to write a short blurb about the dried flower. She can use the Internet to find out facts such as the Latin name, colors, and origin of the flower species.
- Another option is for her to compose a short poem about the flower. Acrostic poems are well-suited to flower names. A little fuzzy on what acrostic poems are? They're short poems in which each letter of a chosen word begins a different line of the poem, which can be just one descriptive word, or a short phrase.
- Next, invite her to use a clear-drying glue stick to spread a thin layer of glue on the blank side of the bookmark.
- Using a hand that is free of any glue residue, she should press the flowers down firmly so that there are no bumps. Allow to dry.
- Once the bookmark has thoroughly dried, help her laminate both sides of the bookmark with contact paper, a plastic paper with an adhesive backing.
Her blossom-embellished bookmark is complete! Visit your local library to find a brand new book to jump into; she'll be delighted to make use of her new personalized place holder.