Spring Banners from Leaf & Flower Pounding

Create banners with natural materials while also exploring plant pigments- such a fun way to combine art and science! Kids will create all kinds of designs using leaf and flower pounding, and turn their creations into something they can hang up right at home.

spring banner collage

 

For this week’s science activity we are going to learn about plant pigments. When we’re done, we’ll be turning our learning into an art project, just as we did with our Chromatography Butterflies.

Materials

  • white fabric
  • wooden board
  • old newspaper
  • hammer or mallet
  • flowers and leaves
  • sticks, string and sewing machine or glue (for making the spring art)

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Procedure

  1. Gather different flowers, leaves and grasses from outside. Set them aside as you set up a work area.
  2. Lay down your wooden board and place a sheet of newspaper on top.

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3. Arrange the items you collected from outside in any way you’d like.

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4. Cover the arrangement with the white fabric.

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5. Use your hammer or mallet to pound the fabric. (Please be careful of fingers and toes when doing this.) What do you think will happen? Why?

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6. Observe what happens as you pound the different areas of the fabric.

 

7. When you are finished, remove your fabric and brush off remaining pieces of flowers and leaves. Let your fabric dry.

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8. Now that you’re finished experimenting, why not turn your creations into some spring art by making them into little banners!

  • Fold down the top of the fabric about one inch and pin in place. Sew or glue the edge of the folded fabric down, creating a tunnel or pocket.
  • Find a stick or use a dowel and insert it through the tunnel, as if you were placing a curtain on a curtain rod.
  • Tie one piece of string to each end of the stick. Now you have a spring banner!

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Tips

– A wooden or plastic hammer or mallet would definitely be easier for young children.

– Yellow and purple flowers usually turn out the brightest and tend to keep their color on the fabric over time.

What’s Going On?

Pigment molecules (carotenoids and anthocyanins) give flowers the colors we see. The green in leaves is from the pigment, chlorophyll. Pounding the flowers and leaves causes the pigment to be released and then dyes our fabric.

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Question to Spark More Curiosity & Critical Thinking

What happened when you pounded the leaves and flowers? Did certain colors come out better than others?  

 

Want to go even further?

Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages.

    • Try leaf and flower pounding on paper. You can turn the artwork into greeting cards!
    • Why do you think flowers are important? Go to the library or online with a parent and read about the importance of flowers.
    • Here is a good explanation of the different pigments in plants.

 

Fizz, Pop, Bang! 40 Playful Science and Math Activities for Kids

Comments

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love it! We’ve tried to make something like this on paper, but in fabric results are pretty!

  2. This is beautiful!

  3. I can’t wait to try this. I’ve never thought of using material instead of paper, it’s a fantastic finished product.

  4. Chelsey, these are gorgeous! I never would have thought to do them on fabric and make a banner – but I’m so glad that YOU did because they’re awesome! Pinned and will be sharing later today! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. This is beautiful! I love the colors! My daughter always uses flower petals to color rocks so we’re going to try this next and hang it in her room. Thanks!

  6. I love this! I am totally adding this to our list of things to do this summer.

  7. What a cool experiment! And they made such pretty artwork too. Thanks for sharing on We Made That!

  8. I love this activity. I meant to do it with my son last year and never got round to it. Thanks for the reminder

  9. ooh aren’t these interesting and beautiful!
    I’ve been meaning to try this technique with paper but now we’ll have to try it on fabric too!

  10. Chelsey I really love these and will be featuring them on The Sunday Showcase this weekend.

  11. Gorgeous! Please come share this with us on Eco Kids Tuesday.. this week or next!

  12. Oooohhhh, I remember seeing a fun idea for flower pounding back when I was pregnant with the boys (so like 9 years ago) to make them into quilts, but this is so much easier and fun!

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

  13. Thank you so much for linking on Tutorial Thursdays Linky Party 🙂
    I can’t wait to see what you will be sharing with us this week!
    x
    Natalie
    Marigolds’ Loft

  14. I just did this activity with my three children. They loved it! It was so easy. Thank you for posting this.

  15. Added this to my flower roundup at the weekly kid’s co-op this week! Very cute! Krissy

  16. In addition to Monday Kid Corner Weekly Linky Party, this week’s theme is MUD. Brush off those archives and link them up at thejennyevolution.com. See you there! Jennifer

  17. I love how you combined science and art to create such a beautiful finished product. Thank you for sharing this post at Discover and Explore. I’m featuring it tomorrow.

  18. Very pretty! I posted a link to your site from my science blog.

  19. I found you via Housing a Forest and I must say, wow, BIG WOW! I LOVE your site and all your lovely and beautiful activities! So much pinning, so little time!

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