Add the Festivity to Play

I love the Christmas season. The kids pick up on the excitement building and it’s a beautiful time for family.  It’s so easy to capitalise on the excitement of the season and incorporate it into play. Just a few mock wrapped presents and mini Christmas trees you can pick up a dime a dozen from discount, department or supermarket stores can do the trick. BAM! Play time extended. Imagination stimulated. 

Ideas

  • Wrap boxes of different sizes and give to the kids to play with
  • Buy a small Christmas tree and decorations and this can be a dedicated kids tree to decorate and use with toys for play
  • Little trees are wonderful for doll play
  • LED Battery operated lights can be added to a play space to make it look magical

Wrap a few mock presents and give to the kids to play with.

Wrap a few mock presents and give to the kids to play with.

Wrap a few mock presents and give to the kids to play with. Add a few trees too!

Wrap a few mock presents and give to the kids to play with. Add a few trees too!

Frozen Toy Ice Skating Rink

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Ice Skating Rink

Frozen Play Scene

Snow Play Scene

DIY Book Flower Press (free craft from the garden)

how to press flowers

When I was a little girl I loved to dry and press flowers. I had them hanging in my room, randomly placed in books and stored in little bottles like potpourri all over the house.

Recently, my six-year-old daughter has shown an interest in collecting things from nature; leaves, feathers, rocks and sticks are among the favourites. When I shared with her my childhood passion for pressing flowers she was, in her words ‘so excited to try’. So with a garden full of flowers, we got started.

Supplies

Garden flowers

Heavy book (old phone book is perfect for this purpose)

Baking paper

How to Press Flowers

Step 1: Picking the Right Flowers

The main issue faced when pressing flowers is mold, which is caused when a section of the flower is taking too long to dry out, usually around the receptacle of the flower. The easiest way to avoid is to pick flowers that are known to dry well. My favourites are; pansy, African violet, petunia, daisy, snapdragons, brunfelsia, geranium, roses and vinca.

 How to press flowers  - Nine best flowers for book flower press #beafunmum #aboutthegarden

Step 2: Preparing the Flowers for Pressing

To prepare the flowers for pressing, simply dispose of thicker areas that you think might potentially go mouldy. For example, with roses it’s best to pick the petals and press them individually rather then as a flower head. 

Step 3: Creating a Moisture Barrier

It’s a good idea before you pop your freshly picked flowers into that favourite volume of Dickens, to use a protective barrier so the moisture from the flower petals doesn’t seep into the book pages. In the past I’ve simply recycled an envelope, but I’ve recently found the non-stick surface of baking paper to be superior. Now all you need to do is;

 How to press flowers  - Book pressed flowers free craft from the garden be a fun mum

 How to press flowers  - Book flower press get ready to fold the pages free craft from the garden be a fun mum

 How to press flowers  - Book flower press using big heavy books be a fun mum

  • Cut the baking paper to required size, ours was A3.
  • Fold the baking paper in half.
  • Lay the baking paper open within the pages of the book.
  • Place the fresh flowers inside, ensuring adequately spaced.
  • Carefully shut the book

Step 4: Storing the Book Flower Press

Store your Book Flower Press in a dry location. It takes several weeks, we left ours for 5, for flowers to dry and press using this method, so ensure your location is up and out of the way.

Remember once your flowers have completely dried out, they will be fragile, so teach children to handle with care.  

How to press flowers  - Book pressed dried flowers free craft from the garden be a fun mum

Pressing flowers is so much fun and best of all you can use them in a variety of craft activities from papermaking, decorating photo frames to bookmarks and potpourri.

If you plan to use your pressed flowers for future craft projects, store them in a dry air-tight container to avoid exposure to moisture.

Happy Pressing!

More

Posts from Renee

Nature Craft Ideas

Discovery box: for items kids like to collect from nature

Kids Collection Display Jars

Make Your Own (super easy) Bubble Mixture

Make your own (super easy) bubble mixture

DIY Bubble Mixture - so easy!

The following recipe makes 1.25 litres of bubble mixture, and you can double the amounts to make a larger batch. It works perfectly in bubble machines, and will keep for months in an air-tight container.

You will need

1.5 cups dish washing detergent
Glycerine (available in supermarkets)
Warm water
Container with lid to hold the bubble mixture
Bubble wands or wire coat hanger

DIY Bubble Mixture Recipe - so easy

Method

1. In your container, mix together 1.5 cups of dish washing detergent, 3.5 cups warm water and ½ cup glycerine. Stir until well combined.

2. Create your bubble wand by twisting the wire coat hanger into a circle, leaving some wire for a handle. 

3. Enjoy the magic of bubbles… and don’t let the kids have all the fun!

Tips for bubble fun

  • Bubbles can be messy, so it is best done outdoors.
  • It is easier to wave your wand to create bubbles, rather than trying to blow bubbles with your mouth.
  • Keep your left over bubble mixture – it actually improves with age!
  • Get your camera ready as kids and bubbles make for great photos.

DIY Bubble Mixture - so easy!

DIY Bubble Mixture - so easy!

DIY Bubble Mixture - so easy!

DIY Bubble Mixture - so easy!

DIY Bubble Mixture - so easy!

Five fun facts about bubbles

  1. Bubbles are made up of air, surrounded by a thin film of water.
  2. No matter the shape of your bubble wand, bubbles will always be round.
  3. Bubbles look clear, but you can see a rainbow of colours in them, especially when blowing bubbles in the sunlight.
  4. Adding glycerine to the bubble mix makes the bubbles stronger and last longer.
  5. Bubbles will last longer on a humid or wet day. Dry air causes bubbles to pop!

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Easy Marshmallow Pops

6 Great Play dough Recipes

Backyard Bottle Bowling

Backyard bowling. All you need is empty bottles and a ball.

One of my readers sent me this idea. It’s one of those fab simple things you can pull out on a lazy Saturday afternoon for some family fun. Fabulous to keep in mind for Christmas or the school holidays!

What you need

10 Empty 1.25 L Bottles

Food colouring – 3 colours (optional)

Large Ball

Water

How to play

1. Fill the bottles with water.  The more full they are, the harder they will be to push over.  

2. Add a few drops of food colouring to the water, depending on how many pins you have. If you don’t have colouring, you could just make a mark with permanent marker or adjust the game to simply knocking them down.

When the kids and I played this game, we decided to have different points for each colour, the clear (no colouring) being the least and the blue being the greatest points.  The idea is to add up how many you knock over! For example, if you knocked over the clear, 2 x red, 1 green and 1 blue it would be: 1 + 4 + 3 + 4 = 12. A strike would be 30. Great little maths project!

backyard bowling

3. Mark a line with chalk (or just make a mark with a stick or whatever) to stand behind and roll the ball!  Make it harder/easier by standing back further from the pins.

Backyard bowling

4. Take turns and when you’re done, tip the water into the garden and recycle the bottles.

backyard bowling

Easy Marshmallow Pops

Celebrating birthdays at school or day care – easy marshmallow pops

I love that teachers and caregivers take the time to celebrate our children’s birthdays at school and day care. Singing happy birthday, wearing a birthday hat or badge and taking along a birthday treat to share with class mates helps make their day even more special.

Traditionally, a humble birthday cake was baked and sent along – maybe a swirly marble cake if you were really lucky!

Then came the cupcake revolution – beautifully decorated and irresistible – they were welcomed by teachers because they were so easy to distribute.

More recently, ice blocks, jellies, chips and even lollipops have been replacing birthday cakes – these options are ideal for time poor parents and children that can’t eat (or don’t like) cake.

Pinterest is overflowing with ideas for creative and delicious birthday treats that children can take to school and share with their class mates. But if making fiddly cake pops is not your idea of a good time, you must try these easy “marshmallow pops”. They are so simple that your children can make them with just a little supervision.

Easy Marshmallow Pops - Great for birthday parties!

Ingredients

Marshmallows

Chocolate freckles

Chocolate for melting

Paper straws

Easy Marshmallow Pops

Method

1. Insert straw firmly into marshmallow.

Easy Marshmallow Pops

2. Melt chocolate (in microwave or on stove top).

3. Dab some melted chocolate onto the top of the marshmallow.

Easy Marshmallow Pops

4. Stick a chocolate freckle on top.

5. Allow to set.

Enjoy!

Easy Marshmallow Pops

What birthday treats do you send in to school or day-care for your children? Do you make your own or do you purchase something from the shops? Do you go for traditional cake or a more modern take on birthday treats?

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Sea Animals Shoebox Puppet Theatre

Sea Animals Shoebox Puppet Theatre

This is a surprisingly simple and fun DIY project for sea animal fans. There are whales, dolphins and turtles!  Great for a school projects, show and tell, a themed holiday activity or just for fun!  Here’s an idea: make a theme day and borrow a sea animal book from the local library, watch a documentary, set up an ocean themed play scene and make a puppet theatre! Something the entire family could enjoy.

Shoebox sea animal puppet theatre

Materials

Base of a shoebox (or use a cereal box)

Paddle pop sticks (or fishing line for diorama option)

Glue (clear craft glue or other paper glue works well)

Sea Animal Printable/Background (click the respective pictures below for either outline (to colour) or the coloured version PDF files.

Sea animals puppet theatre

 

Sea Animal Colouring Page

 

Blue background PDFInstructions

1. Print out the templates.

2. Cut around animals, the wave graphic and the blue background.

3. Glue the background into the back of the box.

Shoebox puppet theatre

4. Fold the wave graphic about 1cm from the bottom.

Shoebox puppet theatre

5.  Glue the folded part of the wave under the box so it sits up like this.

Shoebox puppet theatre

7. To make a puppet theatre, glue a paddle pop stick on the back of the animal cut outs.  To make this a diorama, sticky tape a length of fishing line to the back of the animal cut outs. Tip: Printing the animals on card works best (but not essential).

Sea Animals Printable

Sea Animals puppet theatre

6.  To use the box as a puppet theatre, cut a rough rectangle section on the base of the box. This allows a space for the paddle pop puppets to enter the theatre.

Shoebox puppet theatre

Puppet Theatre

Great for show and tell at school, story telling, science projects and just for fun!

Shoebox puppet theatre

Shoebox puppet theatre

Paddle Pop Stick Dolphin Puppets

Diorama

This looks so cool because it’s 3D and the sea animals seem to hover in the air.  It’s a fun decoration for sea-loving-child’s bedroom too! Simply sticky tape the fishing line to the inside top of the box where you want the animals to sit.

Shoebox puppet theatre

Shoebox puppet theatre

Paddle Pop Stick Dolphin Puppets

Paddle Pop Stick Puppets

Another simple way to play with the printables is to simply make paddle pop stick puppets to play with.

Paddle Pop Stick Dolphin Puppets

Sea Animals puppet theatre

Colouring Pages

Or just colouring them in.  For individual colouring pages of the mother/baby animals, click the picture below for 6 pages of options.

Whale / Dolphin / Turtle colouring pages

Road Trip: Travel Activities for Kids

We are in a stage of parenting where there’s an urgency experience as much as we can in this small window family time; the kids are still young enough to do everything with us, but old enough that it’s easy for us to drop everything and go places.  It’s the memory-making season!  Later on, when my kids are adults, I believe these times will serve as memory anchors of a wonderful childhood and there’s something beautifully grounding about that.

We are off to Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast in Queensland for a long weekend…hoping to see the whales! It’s about a 3 hour drive from Brisbane and I have organised travel packs for the kids, to both keep them entertained and to enhance this experience. I make up travel packs for the kids for most holidays/road trips and I’m sharing the sorts of things I put in them and how just a little forward planning can facilitate spontaneous fun and natural learning experiences.

Audio Books

I recently discovered audio books and they are fabulous for road trips! I just finished downloading another story after desperate pleas from my kids: How to Be a Pirate (one of the How the Train Your Dragon series) by Cressida Cowell. Done.

Travel Pack for Kids

The travel packs I make up for road trips are similar but different. This time, I put together these things:

  • Trial Mix Snack: Ingredients for our favourite travel trail mix here
  • Pipe Cleaners: These are great for the car for older kids. They are mess free and you can make all sorts of fun designs and create people, animals and figures. Have a competition even!
  • Note Pad: For drawing or journalling 
  • Drawing Pens
  • Colouring in pages: Many regions/travel destinations will have related colouring in pages you can download for free. You will find a link to where I found these pages relating to the Fraser Coast below.
  • Toys: A few themed toys are fun.
  • Clipboard box: These are one of the BEST parenting discoveries. We’ve had them for 3 years now and are fabulous for travelling.  They are a clipboard that have a small storage box attached to it. I purchased mine at Officeworks (Storage Clipboard).

Travel Activities for the Car on Road Trips

Travel Toys

On this particular trip, we are focusing on the wonder of the wildlife in the Hervey Bay region. Enjoying nature is one of my favourite things to experience with my kids. I don’t usually pack toys when we go on a getaway (I keep everything minimal) because we keep so busy.  However, I tend to have a theme and then perhaps buy one thing to add to the experience (e.g. a new board game/book).

I’ve been a parent a while now, and I’ve discovered there are certain toys/items that bring much value to the kids play and imagination. Plastic figurines are one of them (you can’t have to many – ha!) and they are easy to travel with. It took me about 20 minutes to Google the wildlife we may discover in the Fraser region, and then I found as many as I could from our collection at home and purchased extra themed figures from Mini Zoo.  Mini Zoo has a HUMONGOUS range of all kinds of plastic figurine brands.

According to my research, all these animals featured below are in the Fraser Coast region — how cool is that!? So the kids will both look out for them, and be inspired along the way.  Plus, when we are home again, I’ll create some sort of play scene for the kids as an activity to reinforce it all. I just know how much the kids will enjoy playing with these in the car, on the beach, at parks and quietly in bed at rest time.

Animal figurines - Fraser Coast

I packed the toys in a little box ready to go.

Toys for travel

All set with the storage clipboards with snacks and drawing activities inside and Contigo Drink Bottles (which don’t spill).

Travel activities for kids

Prepare for spontaneous fun. See what I did there?

Fraser Coast, Queensland

The colouring sheets I printed for my kids were found here:

Fraser Coast Activity Sheets

Follow

If you’re interested in following us, I will post live pics up on my Instagram feed @beafunmum using the hashtag #BAFM_Travel and #visitfrasercoast

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Plant a Pot Garden for Spring!

how to plant a herb garden in potsI like the idea of gardening, but find it overwhelming.  Last year, I enlisted the help of a friend to get me started, and together we broke up the process in 3 easy (and FUN!) steps to make it achievable for anyone! The good thing about this garden is it’s in pots, so even if you don’t have the space for a garden, you can still experience the joy of growing something yourself and using it in the food you eat.  I believe this process is so important for kids!

I’m shocked (and very happy to say) that the garden I planted in pots a year ago is still alive. I repeat, IT’S STILL ALIVE! This is how I did it (if you start now, you’ll have a garden in a month):

Stage 1: Plant the Seeds

growing herbs from seeds using toielt rolls

The kids and I planted the plants from seeds. It’s a lot of fun to see the shoots pop out of the ground.  We used toilet rolls for this projects (great way to recycle them) and you can find the step by step procedure here:  Plant seedlings in toilet rolls

Then: 2 weeks later

Stage 2: Create Garden Label Rocks

spice garden rocks

While the seedings are growing tall and strong in their lovely toilet roll case, make label rocks.  Or you can use other label methods like write on small wooden spoons (just make you varnish them with outdoor gloss). Step by Step guide here: Paint herb garden rocks

Then: 2 weeks later

Stage 3: Plant Garden

herb garden rocks

Once the seedlings are about 5 cm high, it’s time to move them into the big garden pots, add the rocks and enjoy!  You can find all the materials I used for this project here: Plant a herb garden

And a year on, below are snippet of what is growing in our garden looks like coming into Spring (with very, very little maintianance).

Parsley in the garden

Herb Garden in Pots

Seasonal Planting Guide

For more details on when you should start planting for your area, this article is helpful: Seasonal Gardening Australia

Blu Tack Modelling Fun

This is the sort of simple and easy activity that requires very little preparation.  Over the years, I have found Blu Tack to be a fabulous modelling material for kids.  It’s less messy (and crumbly) than play-dough and not sticky like clay. It holds its shape and is easy to work with so I often use it as an activity for my kids.  

Even now my kids are older, they still enjoy working with Blu Tack.  Make people, animals, jewellery, scenes – anything! You can get coloured Blu Tack too, which is fun, from office supply shops, craft shops and places like Kmart and BIG W for about $3.   Only tip is not to do it on carpet because it’s hard to get out once it’s stuck!

Blu Tack Modelling Fun - It’s less messy (and crumbly) than play-dough and not sticky like clay. It holds its shape and is easy to work with.

Sometimes I buy a few packets and leave them in the cupboard and then bring it out if I need a little activity for the kids before dinner or on the weekend. One of the best things is when you are finished, just stick it on a wall or in a zip lock bag for next time. Just a simple and fun idea to have up your sleeve.

Backyard Fun: A Piece of Wood

My dad is a builder. There was always wood around when I was a child and I loved that. Great for make-shift cubby houses and other fun in the backyard.

At places like Bunnings, you can buy cut pieces of wood for craft projects (starting from about $5). A few pieces of wood in the back yard has proven to be great fun for my kids. They can set up their own obstacle courses, play games (like Pirates!) or simply do balance games. Just a simple idea.

Backyard Fun: Walk the Plank (all you need is a piece of wood

Backyard Fun: Walk the Plank (all you need is a piece of wood

Idea: paint or decorate the wood with paint or permanent marker for fun.

Other

Wood Roads

Father’s Day Card: Tie Printable

This is a simple tie card/craft idea for Father’s Day. The fun thing about this card is Dad can wear it!

Father's Day Tie Card Printable

Materials

Tie Template

Light cardboard or paper

Scissors

Ribbon or string

Decorating: stickers, pens/pencils, collage material, glue, paint.

1. Template

Click the pictures below for the PDF printables.  There is a blank one, plus one with a blank tie / Happy Father’s Day MessageFather's Day Tie Card Printable

Father's Day Tie Card Printable

 

2. Print

The best way to do this is to print the template directly on light card (coloured or white). Paper can be used too but the tie will sit better on heavy paper or card. Alternatively, cut the tie out and use as a template.

Father's Day Tie Card Printable

3. Cut

Cut around the outline.

4. Decorate

This is the fun part where my kids got involved.  Decorate with:

  • Drawings
  • Patterns
  • Collage
  • Photo of the child
  • Paint
  • Stickers

stickers, drawing & collage

Father's Day Tie Card Printable

Tip: If doing a collage, it works well to laminate the tie after the collage is dry.

7. Message

Write a message to Dad on the back of the tie card.

6. Ribbon

Tape or staple a section of ribbon or string on the top (so Dad can wear it if he wants to!)

Father's Day Tie Card Printable

Pin it

RePin this idea here.

More Father’s Day Craft Ideas

Paddle Pop Sitck Note Pad Holder

Rock Paper Weight

Pen Holder Photo

Painted Frame

Decoupage Pot

Hand Print Canvas

Simple Paper Craft: Who Lives Here?

This is an easy paper craft I used to make with my kids when they were toddlers.  I recently revamped the idea and made it appealing for my older kids too, who love drawing. 

This is a version I did years ago.

Simple Paper Craft - Who Lives Here?

Materials

Paper (or light cardboard)

Drawing materials

Scissors 

How to

One

Print 2 pages from the template: a top house page and base character page.  I have included 5 different pages to pick from in the template.

Page 1: House with numbered windows (for younger kids)

Page 2: Farm animals (to colour in)

Page 3: Aussie animals (coloured)

Page 4: Blank window template with guide lines (for older kids who like to draw)

Page 5: House with unnumbered windows (for older kids)

Click the picture below for the PDF file.

Paper Craft

 

paper craft -  Australian Animals

Two

Colour pages if desired. 

Who lives in this house -- paper craft

Three

Cut along three sides of all windows to allow them to open.  For the door cut along the bottom, top and in the middle, allow the doors to open both ways.  This is the only tricky part.  I usually do this, depending on the age of the child.  I used scissors this time, but for best results, a craft or Stanley knife on a board works well.

paper craft for kids

Four

Use paper glue to attach the top page to the bottom page. Avoid gluing over the pictures so the window don’t stick.

paper craft for kids

Meet the People

I was surprised how engaged my older kids were in this activity. Like all best activities, it turns into something more.  In this case, a drawing activity turned into character development and story telling. Both my 10-year-old and 8-year-old drew characters in each window, named them, and formulated a back story. It was fantastic! Then, later at bedtime, we used the house as the story.  Below are Miss 10’s characters. 

Windows

This is Tim. Tim is a teenager who likes to be on his own. He spends a lot of time starring out the window, off in his own world.

Drawing 1

This is Amy. Amy is in her 20’s and is a tour guide at the local Botanical Gardens.

Drawing 2

This is Tabby the cat. He belongs to a family of five.  Of the three children, the youngest is the most interested in the cat.

Drawing 3

This is Kacey.  Kacey is an imaginative young girl who loves to look at things in a different way, and is fascinated by the world around her.

Drawing 4

This is Josh.  Josh is a laid-back Dad who is fun-loving and creative with his family.  He likes to help with the family chores. He is confident and doesn’t care what other people think of him.

Drawing 5

This is Susan. Susan is a joyful, happy young girl.  She loves pink and playing with the family bird.

Drawing 6

This is Francesca and Matt. Francesca is confident, popular, pretty in her personality. Matt, on the other hand, is sporty and laid-back.

Drawing 7

Games

Below are some games we play with this simple paper craft.

  • Open the numbers in sequence
  • Create animal sounds at each opening
  • Play memory and guess who is in each window
  • Make up a story
  • Sing ‘Old MacDonald’ Had a Farm’
  • Draw your own characters

When you have kids in a wide range of age brackets, it’s fantastic if you can cater an activity to appeal to them all. 

Pin for Later

If you want to rePin this idea for later, click here for a customised image.

Father’s Day Craft: Hand Print Canvas

I did a hand print canvas craft for Father’s Day three years ago and decided to do it again this year. How the kids have grown!  This is a gorgeous personalised gift idea for Father’s Day.  Blank canvas can be found at discount and craft shops starting from about $4.

This activity doesn’t take take very long to do and it’s easy!  I had it done in under 10 minutes.

2011

father's day craft idea -- canvas hand print
2014

Father's Day Craft - hand print canvas

Materials

Canvas (large enough to hold how many kids hands you have)

Non-toxic Paint (a different colour for each child)

Paper or a section of cardboard

Instructions

 1. Squirt about a 10 cent size blog of paint on a piece of paper or cardboard.

2. Pick which hand you are featuring and then rub the hand into the paint, ensuring all fingers are covered. It’s a good idea to do a test run on a blank piece of paper to get used to the press down/lift up action. This is also a good way to check how much paint works best to get that handprint look (rather than a big splodge).

hand print canvas

hand print canvas3. Once hand is covered in paint, press down firmly on the canvas, and then lift hand directly up quickly, being careful not to smudge the print.

4. Allow paint to dry and date the back Father’s Day Year (e.g. 2014)

5. The paint washes off hands easily.

Idea: Get each child to write (in permanent marker) or paint their name around the hand.

For something different, we went with pearly colours this time instead of the bright colours we did 3 years ago.

Love it!

hand print canvas

Other Father’s Day Craft Ideas

Paddle Pop Sitck Note Pad Holder

Rock Paper Weight

Pen Holder Photo

Painted Frame

Decoupage Pot

Hand Print Canvas

 

(Edible) Crystallised Pansies: for cupcake decorating

How to make crystallised pansies. Great for cupcake decorating (and surprisingly easy!)

Crystallised Pansies

for Cupcake Decorating, Tea Parties & Connecting Kids with the Garden

Did you know that pansies are edible!? When I told my children they weren’t that excited by the prospect of my adding pansies to the family salad, until Grandma told them that pansies could be used for cake decorating.

That got their attention, and mine. We love a little tea party.

I’ve always assumed that flowers used in cake decorating were constructed from sugar, requiring technical skills that I am lacking in the kitchen. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that crystallising pansies for cake decorating, requires no great skill and very few ingredients to be beautiful. 

Supplies

Pansy flowers

1 egg white

40 mls water

White castor sugar

Soft paint brushes

Baking paper

Tray

Pre-made easy cupcake recipe

Cheesecake Frosting

How to:

Step 1: Collect & prep the pansies

Collect the pansies fresh from the garden. Be very careful not to crush the flowers as this can damage and bruise petals. The easiest way to pick the pansies is by using a pair of scissors to cut the small stems close to the back of the flower head. Younger children will require some ‘supervision’ with this first step.

Tip: as mentioned, you can eat the pansies once they are crystallised. Therefore it is best to collect the flowers from a reputable garden that hasn’t been exposed to harsh pest control products. Unlike vegetables & fruit, the pansy flowers will bruise if washed vigorously. I used pansies from our own garden, as we use organic pest control for all our garden produce.

Step 2: Egg wash

For the egg wash you require one (1) egg white and 40ml of water, then mix together with a fork. The consistency you’re looking for is a thin mixture that will paint evenly over the petals without bruising them. You may require additional water if your egg is JUMBO size (add 10mls at a time if you are unsure).

Step 3: Painting the petals

Now for the fun part! Paint both sides of all the pansy petals. I found the easiest way for the children to achieve this was to paint the front of the petals first and then holding the flower stem with a pair of tweezers paint the back. Older children could do this independently, but I found my three (3) year old required some assistance.

Reframe from drenching the petals with the egg wash, all that is required is a thin painted layer.

Step 4: Sugar sprinkles

Once the pansies are painted with egg wash, hold the pansy over a bowl and sprinkle the front and back with fine sugar. Then allow drying.

Step 5: Drying

Sit pansies with their faces up on baking paper to dry, using a flat surface or tray that is in a clean area away from little fingers and moisture. Minimum drying period is 24 hours, I let ours dry for several days. You will know the pansies are ready for use when the flowers are ridged and dry.

Step 6: Decorating!

Before you start decorating, make sure your easy cupcakes are cooled, any amount of heat in the cupcake can cause your pansies to drupe.

 Next, frost your cupcakes. I used this divine Cheesecake Flavour Frosting, which uses cream cheese and minimal icing sugar. Once frosted, gently decorate with the crystallised pansies!

Tip: I discovered that if the cupcakes with pansies are placed in the fridge for any length of time, the sugar softens on the pansies and they go all mushy. If transporting, take the pansies in a separate moisture free container and decorate cupcakes at the last possible moment.

There you have it, gorgeously decorated cupcakes featuring edible pansies from the garden.

How to make crystallised pansies. Great for cupcake decorating (and surprisingly easy!)

Fun with kids - Crystallised Pansies

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