We’ve been having so much fun exploring Botany for Kids, but one thing we haven’t done yet as part of our on-going botany studies is a flower craft.
After reading the gorgeous Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, I felt moved to present Ella with an artistic mixed media provocation to encourage her to make her world more beautiful, just as the book encourages.
I settled on a mixed media provocation, including various textures and materials in cool colours.
What’s wonderful about providing mixed media provocations is that children can design their own process and product, while still being encouraged to view their materials and purpose through a specific intention.
Or, to say it another way, kids can be creative while still being given a subtle direction through the choice of materials they are presented with.
Materials for Lupine Provocation:
- Pom poms
- Pastel crayons
- Watercolour paints
- Sharpie markers
- Squares of tissue paper
- Sticks or Pipe Cleaners
You can also optionally add pieces of real flowers, like we did during our flower dissection – but keep in mind that unless you use pressed flowers, the art will eventually need to be thrown out.
Provocations are distinct from most crafts in that they can be returned to and revisioned multiple times. Children can change course, build upon their work, and collaborate – whatever the materials and their interests encourage them to do.
Ella took about a week to finish her mixed media painting. The background alone was developed over the course of a day. She started off using her pastels, and then brushed it off and opted for watercolours instead. This experimentation is fabulous for developing children’s confidence and skill with different materials, while also allowing them to feel a deeper connection with their work.
Encouraging and allowing children to work on their art when they feel moved, or in short scheduled spurts if that is not an option, allows them to create a artistic process, thinking about their work in different ways and with a fresh perspective every time. They don’t rush to finish, or lose interest halfway through – they practice true engagement and feel the freedom to take a break when needed.
Have you read Miss Rumphius?
The wonderful Evelyne from Nemscock Farms is hosting a give-away for 6 copies of the book, along with packets of lupine seeds from her farm.