In my research for outdoor and nature projects I ran across some ideas for garden wish flags and flower printing. I combined the ideas for a very successful project that I’ve dubbed Nature Print Flags.
During my first class of the week my youngest toddlers (18M-2.5Y) reminded me to be be fluid in my teaching and we instantly diverged from printing leafs to painting with our hands. The outcome was of course beautiful.

Here are the steps to creating a flag:
1. Roll paint on the underside of the leaves. (we used washable tempera paint and foam rollers)
2. Move the paint filled leaf off it’s original spot on the newsprint to a clean surface and keep the paint side up.
3. Position a piece of cotton fabric (we used torn sheets) over the leaf/leaves and press lightly with your hand. You will see the paint soak onto the fabric so it’s easy to know when you are done.
4. Turn the fabric over and peal off the leaf/leaves.

After the first class I offered paint brushes and texture tools and encouraged the students to make at least one painted flag. This way they go their painting ya-yas out and were more patient with the printing of the leaves.

Some students experimented with brushing the paint on the leaves but we found that the paint was too thick and you got a better image from the even application a roller gives.

The hot weather helped the paint dry by the end of class so the flags were ready to be sewn to ribbon the same day. Parents helped pin and students got to help sew. For almost all my students this was their first time working a sewing machine. We did a lot of “slow, slow, stop!”. It was great fun and very exciting.

Here are some examples of finished flags. We incorporated the paintings with the prints for a stunning piece of art.


In the hot summer weather we took breaks from art to water the garden and sit with the chickens.