Clara always loves to use her Daddy’s tools. Just yesterday, I found her playing with a wrench and a tea candle. I’m not sure what the two had to do with each other, but it was important work just the same. So, when I saw this post about leaf pounding I knew that Clara would love it. In fact, I think that any preschooler would love it. They get to actually wield a hammer all by themsleves! They get to pound leaves that they collected into smithereens! And then they get to choose a stick and hang it up! What’s not to love.
Bright and early this morning, because that’s the best time to pound loudly (my neighbors love me!), we set out to find some leaves. Clara only wanted to pick up dry brown ones (for some reason those are always most attractive to her–maybe its the crunch), but I steered her toward moist yellow and red ones.
Next we set up the leaves on a piece of white fabric from my fabric scraps box and folded it over so the leaves were in the middle. Then, Clara began pounding on it with some sort of mallet that I found in the basement. I was looking for a rubber mallet, but I couldn’t find one. This one was wooden and had some sort of sand in the top that shook around. It was actually the perfect heft for Clara, so it worked out perfectly. Clara and I ended up taking turns pounding because it took quite a bit of it. You have to pound until you can see leaf juices coming through the material. Just a note, thinner material is better. Our second try was with flannel, and it didn’t work out well at all.
While we were pounding, and I was distracted, Nancy grabbed up the extra leaves and started eating! Apparently, they were delicious. I had to fish around in her mouth for quite a while to find all of the bits and pieces. Some may have been swallowed (bad Mommy!).
When we could see that all of our leaves were seeping through, we opened the fabric up, pull the stems and leaf bits off, and volia, instant art. I cut the material in half while Clara found two sticks, and then stapled the fabric to the sticks and tied a bit of yarn on top as a hanger. Artwork complete. Frustrations taken out. And its only 9:30 am.