Toil and Trouble
Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble………
A patch of garden, cubby house, sandpit or vegie patch are all open-ended sensory spaces, guaranteed to ignite imagination and cultivate investigation.
I remember a neighbourhood friend of mine in primary school, who had a wild garden and un-used pigeon coop that soon became our ‘Petal Perfumery’ as we swept and cleared the space for our work to begin. We would gather and sort, arrange and prepare our collected blooms, herbs, weeds and pods. Some for posies and garlands, others to soak or crush, mix and blend, strain and pour. We collected and cleaned up jars and bottles, pots and bowls and designed labels for our lovely brews and mysterious concoctions. Life was simply bursting with possibilities as we experimented and explored the natural scents, botanical colours, interesting textures and combinations. These are the memories that tell of a childhood nourished deeply by play outdoors, forged by wild imagination and opportunities for child directed play.
‘Potion Play’……..to conjure spells and elixirs and make magic! This play naturally introduces and explores concepts of science and mathematics while developing language, problem solving and encouraging imagination and creativity. Whilst smaller children may simply love to gather, mix, crush, chop, pour, brew and strain, an older child may extend their investigations to include collecting, arranging and recording details and drawings of plants, research healing properties and seasonal considerations, press and dry foraged plants. Drying plants adds purpose through preparation and provides different qualities to explore that can be included in the play at a later time. Encourage your children to tie small bunches of florals/greenery to hang upside down to dry out before use. They can then crush the dried bunches to store in jars for later potion play. A flower or plant press is also a great addition to have in the mix, for preserving favourite finds and incorporating some art and craft elements.
Potion play is creative fun that is sure to inspire magic in and from your garden. It can easily be incorporated into a ‘mud kitchen’ setting if you have one (refer to earlier blog on mud kitchens for more details). We also have some wonderful resources to support making magic!
Potion preparation kit
Potion making kits
Garden seed packs
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