With summer solstice upon us it’s the perfect time to get a little closer to the natural world with some nature-themed activities. Making a nature flower crow can be adapted for all ages and can be as simple or elaborate as you fancy, with plenty of cheats for very little children.
Making a nature flower crown can be done entirely from natural materials (other than the odd cheat for little ones). It’s great for fine motor skills, learning to tie a simple knot and identifying common summer wild flowers. Plus it does take a little bit of time and patience, so the perfect excuse to bag a shady spot in the park, garden or field and wile away some time absorbing and observing nature.
How to make a nature flower crown
You will need:
- plenty of long grass (about a foot high or longer)
- some common wild flowers e.g. daisy, dandelion, clover, elderflower etc.
- a picnic rug and some patience!
For very young children some of the following may also be useful:
- a small elastic band
- pipe cleaners or sandwich bag ties
- double sided tape
- a thick ribbon or length of scrap material, long enough to tie around your head.
What to do:
- Pick a good chunk of long grass, roughly the width of a marker pen or chunky felt tip;
- Lay the grass on a flat-ish surface e.g. a blanket, bare ground or across your lap. Using a new, young cylindrical shaped piece of grass (flat blades will tear) tie the ends of your bunch of grass together with a simple knot. Make it a double knot if possible. Pull the ends gently and slowly to avoid the grass breaking.
- Pick another handful of grass, the same amount as the first bunch.
- Lay it on your flat surface, the ends of each bunch of grass overlapping the other slightly, forming a long line.
- Tie the two sections together with a blade of grass using a simple knot as per point 2 above.
- Repeat with the second piece of grass a little further along the overlapping section. This will create a long grass ‘ribbon’ forming the base for your nature flower crown.
- Pick more bunches of grass and repeat steps 3-7 above until your grass ribbon is long enough to go round your head with some overlap. For those wanting a new challenge, you can try plaiting the grass together instead.
- Holding one end of the grass ribbon in one hand, twist the other gently until it is twisted along its entire length.
- Position on the wearer’s head to test the length and then secure the two ends together at the right place with two more pieces of grass knotted securely.
- Pick common wild flowers such as dandelions, clover, daisies elderflower. Of course you can substitute garden flowers if you prefer.
- Weave the flower stems into the grass crown, tucking the stalk through once, wrapping it round the grass band and then back through again to secure.
- Continue until your design is complete. Wear and enjoy immediately. Much like our English summers, nature flower crowns are best enjoyed straight away before they are past their best!
Cheats for younger children, those lacking or unable to use grass or requiring minimal adult input
If your children are too young to tie knots or the grass is just not the right type or proving too fiddly, there are a number of cheats to make a crown using a few non-natural materials.
The simplest adaptation is to use a small elastic band instead of grass to secure the crown at the back at the right size. This is also handy if you are sharing one nature flower crown between siblings.
Pre-trimmed pipe cleaners or sandwich bag ties can be used by younger children to twist the different bunches of grass together and secure the back. They can also be used to bind flowers on their stems to the crown if that is proving too much of a challenge.
For very tiny tots or for those with very sensitive skin, using grass at all may be far too tricky. Instead, take a wide length of ribbon or cut a long strip of scrap fabric to a length sufficient to tie comfortably around the wearer’s head. Stick double-sided sticky tape along the length of the ribbon or material. Let your children forage for flowers and leaves to stick along their ribbon crowns. When they have finished, simply tie it at the right length to complete their simple nature flower crown.
If you are making a nature crown outside of summer, are sensitive to grass or lacking the right kind of grass then try using thin twigs instead. Bendy ones are ideal. You will need some wire to secure the twigs together. Decorate with common seasonal natural materials.