A fairly straightforward craft activity for small children, H and I collected small pebbles and painted them as various different types of brightly coloured bugs. (We had a look under rocks and in an insect book for inspiration). We used acrylic paint and then varnished them so they can sit happily in plant pots, though currently H insists on keeping them under her pillow.
This project was a collaborative effort with my 3 yr old daughter, and as it is thinking ahead to christmas represents a level of organisation that I am unaccustomed to.
Inspiration came from an article I read in the paper, that suggested if you grew narcissus bulbs inside 8 weeks before christmas and watered them with vodka?? at the appropriate stage in their growth they would flower at the end of december.
The article suggested nice ideas like planting them in teacups or jam jars but as I wanted to get H involved I decided that we should papier mache and paint some old plastic pots.
The first stage was to tear up newspaper and cover the outside of the pots with layers of paper and a flour and water paste*.
When they were dry we painted them.
…and used a sponge to print patterns on them.
Then, just as they were starting to look bright and cheery H’s obsession with black paint got the better of her and she insisted on painting all but 2 all over again.
When they were dry they were ready for us to plant into. We quarter-filled the pots with gravel as there were no drainage holes in the pots and used a mixture of compost and soil for the rest. We chose to plant hyacinths and narcissus and put them in one of the dark, cold corners in our flat.
Now all we have to do is keep them alive until christmas, when hopefully they’ll look lovely and cheerful.
* You can make flour and water paste by mixing 1 part flour to 5 parts water and cooking (stirring continuously) for about 3 minutes or until it thickens and let it cool. You could also use a mix or pva glue and water.