Paper Water Lilies

These water lilies are so much fun to make and really fascinate kids!

You will need:

Paper

Scissors

Pencil

Cup

Large bowl

Water

1. Put your sugar paper onto a table then use your pencil to trace around your cup to make a circle.

2. Ask an adult to help you cut out the circle.

3. Fold your circle of paper in half.

4. Fold your paper in half again, then fold it once more so that it ends up as an eighth of a circle.  

5. While your paper is still folded, fold the tip of it down to meet the outside of the circle, then unfold just this fold.

6. With the tip pointing up, ask an adult to help you cut an outward curving upside-down V shape into the outside of the eight of a circle. Make this cut just up to the fold that you just made.

7. Unfold your circle. It should look like a flower.

8. If you would like to, you could decorate the centre of your flower – maybe draw a little frog or a dragonfly.

9. Fold a petal towards the centre of the flower, working your way around the flower until all of the petals are folded inwards.

10. You can repeat these steps to make more flowers. Try using something smaller than your cup to trace some of the circles, so that you get lots of different sized flowers.

11. Fill up your large bowl with water and place it on the table.

12. Carefully place your flowers onto the top of the water and watch your water lilies open up!    

13. You can take your water lilies out of the water and let them dry, then use them again later. Just be careful as colour will come out of the paper.

Pressing flowers and leaves

Pressed flowers and leaves come in really handy for use in kids craft activities. They can be used to make a lovely suncatcher, to decorate cards, or to make a leaf mask! Even if you don’t have a special flower press, you can use the method below – it’s really easy!

What you will need:

Fresh leaves or flowers

2 pieces of paper

A heavy book

Collect the leaves or flowers that you would like to press. It is best to choose freshly fallen leaves and flat flowers. They need to be dry, so don’t collect them when it has been raining or too early in the morning when they have dew on them.

Get a heavy book and put a piece of paper inside the back of it. Place your leaves or flowers onto the paper not touching each other, then carefully cover them with another piece of paper. Gently close the book. If you don’t have a really heavy book you can put them inside one book and stack a few others on top.

Leave them for 7 to 10 days. Try not to peek at them, because opening the book up will make them shift and get wrinkled.

If you loved this activity, check out our NZ gardening and nature activity subscription boxes for kids here

Ice Lanterns

Your gorgeous ice lantern can be used to celebrate Matariki or Winter solstice!
This was an activity in one of our winter boxes last year. It is incredibly easy and looks stunning.

What you will need:
A tealight candle 
Water
Nature treasures
A cylindrical plastic container
An empty tin
A small heavy rock
A freezer!

1. Go on a nature treasure hunt for leaves, berries, flowers, pine needles, ferns…

2. Put your tin (or a small round plastic container) inside the larger container. Make sure the tin or small container is large enough to fit the candle in.

3. Arrange your nature treasures inside the large container. Put just the rock inside the small container.

4. Carefully pour water into the larger container up to about 2 cm below the top of the small container. The rock should stop the small container from floating up. If it starts to float, put another rock in.

5. Put your container into the freezer overnight.

6.  Take your container out of the freezer and run warm water over the outside to get your ice lantern out. Put a little bit of water inside the small container to get it out too.

7. Get an adult to put the candle on a large plate or dish and light it. Carefully put the ice lantern over it – beautiful!

I’d love to see pictures of your ice lanterns – tag Little Farmer (@littlefarmernz) if you post them to instagram or facebook so that I can see them!

If you loved this activity, check out our NZ gardening and nature activity subscription boxes for kids here

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Autumn Leaf Masks

After a walk during Autumn, you are bound to return home with pockets full of bright leaves. There are lots of lovely craft ideas for kids to make with leaves. Colourful leaf masks is one of our favourites!

You will need:

PVA glue

A cardboard mask – you can either buy these from a craft shop, or cut one yourself out of thin card.

Thin elastic

A paintbrush

Colourful leaves

1. Go on a nature walk and find colourful freshly fallen leaves. Try to find a mixture of sizes.

2. You can choose to make your mask straight away with fresh leaves, or you can press your leaves to make your mask last longer. Without pressing, the leaves will curl and go brown within a few days. Instructions for pressing leaves are here.

3. Cut a mask shape out of flexible card

4. Paint glue onto your mask, a section at a time.

5. Stick your leaves onto the glue. You may need to add a bit more glue when overlapping leaves. Using the smaller leaves at the centre of the mask will work the best. Try to position the leaves so that they don’t cover the eyeholes too much or you won’t be able to see! Also, make sure you don’t cover the holes for the elastic.

6. Leave your mask for a while to let the glue dry, then tie the elastic onto the mask.

7. Put your mask on!

If you loved this activity, check out our NZ gardening and nature activity subscription boxes for kids here

About Little Farmer

Hi, I’m Melanie, nice to meet you! 

As founder of Little Farmer, you can find me packing our NZ made subscription boxes from home in the evenings, researching the best seasonal flowers and plants, or digging for insects in the backyard with my two favourite little farmers.

Whether it is genes or growing up in an extremely rural area of Kaitaia, New Zealand, I have always loved the thrill of being outdoors. Even now, as a greenie living in the city with my partner and kids, I feel most at home when I am with loved ones outside, creating something special in the garden. 

Before I launched Little Farmer in 2019, I found myself thinking about the importance of my own kids embracing nature. I started learning creative ways of introducing fun and messy play to the outdoors, as well as practical skills for growing their own garden.

Eventually, I realised I could share my knowledge and love for gardening with other families around the country and suddenly, Little Farmer was born! 

Like many of our Little Farmer customers, my boys love being outside and helping in the garden. My eldest already understands which plants are the weeds, how to grow from seed and how to look after the veggies we plant. There is so much to learn just by being in the fresh air.

I believe it is so important for children to have a great connection to nature and for it to be their playground, so they can be the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves possible.

If you are interested in checking out our NZ gardening and nature activity subscription boxes for kids please click here. They are a great gift idea for kids!

Happy farming!