Outdoor Hour Challenge #14: Pressing Flowers

“If the mother lacks a knowledge of plants, a good field guide will be indispensable, especially if she can find one that includes little facts and fun things about the plants. To collect flowers, press them and glue them to cardboard with the name in English, what kind of habitat it grows in, and when it was found…This is fun and educational.”
Charlotte Mason volume 1, page 51

We are now three weeks into our eight week focus on garden flowers. By now you should have had time to find some garden flowers to observe, perhaps have planted some seeds of your own, learned a few names for flower parts, and are ready to start a pressed flower collection.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #14
Pressing Flowers

1. Gather a few common materials to use for pressing flowers. For your outings, select an old phone book or an old reading book that you can use to press flowers between the pages as you collect them. This will help transport your flower specimens home to where you can put them into a press. There is no need for anything fancy. We have been using cardboard, copier paper, and rubber bands to make a handy flower and leaf press. See video for an explanation.
(Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyuK6qwlqBg)

2. Take your 10-15 minute outdoor time to look for some garden flowers in your local area. Observe your seeds that you planted in challenge 12, if you did that part of the challenge. Remember to use the correct labels for the plant parts that you read about in challenge number 13. Gather a few flowers to bring home to press in your own flower press.

3. Follow up in the Handbook of Nature Study with any flowers that you saw during your Green Hour time and that are listed in the table of contents. Use the observation ideas for your next outing to learn more about that particular flower.

4. Give an opportunity for a nature journal entry. Work on drawing another garden flower. Remember that we will be working on flower drawing skills in week 15. If you have seeds growing, record their progress in your nature journal.

5. Add any new flowers to your list of garden flowers. If you are making field guide cards for your garden flowers, add another card this week. If you make one card per week, by the end of this focus period you will have eight cards completed.

6. Take the flowers that you gathered during your nature time and add them to your press. There is a definite technique for getting them to lay flat as you place them between the paper and the cardboard. Some flowers are better at laying flat and others you will have to squeeze sideways. Experiment as the next few weeks go by.

I made a two minute video explaining how to make a very simple flower press for this week’s challenge. Please watch the video and you will see that anyone can do this and be successful:
How to Make a Flower Press
https://handbookofnaturestudy.com/2009/07/new-outdoor-hour-challenge-ebook-garden_27.html

This challenge is part of my Garden Flowers ebook. This ebook has ten garden related challenges that will walk you through a study of garden flowers using the Handbook of Nature Study. In addition to the challenges already written, there will be more photos, nature journal examples, book lists, and totally new notebook pages designed to go with each of the Garden Flower Challenges.

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

Watching New Ferns Unfolding: Yosemite


This past weekend we took a hike at Yosemite National Park. The ferns were all coming to life and unrolling their new growth. I found the soft greens a delight for the eyes.

“All of the parts of the frond of a fern are tightly folded spirally within the bud and every fold of every leaflet is also folded in a spiral. But the first glance at one of these little woolly spirals gives us but small conception of its marvelous enfolding. Every part of the frond is present in that bud, even to the fruiting organs…”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 698 in the section “How a Fern Bud Unfolds”

Here is a look at what the fern looks like after it unfolds. Beautiful.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #13 Flower Parts

“The points to be borne in mind are that children like to call things by their names because they are real names, and they also like to use “grownup” names for things; but they do not like to commit to memory names which to them are meaningless.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 456

This challenge will continue our eight week group focus on garden flowers. Please feel free to continue with your own focus if you are in the middle of something your family is enjoying. You can save the garden flower challenges for a future time if you wish.

Our family has found renewed interest in gardening this past week. We continued working on a new section in our butterfly garden and we also planted some new and interesting things in our vegetable garden. Each week I think I know what we will learn or discover with each challenge but then something new comes up and I am pleasantly surprised. There is always something new to learn about.

This week’s challenge seems simple enough and even though we already know the names of the flower parts, I am going to challenge my boys to actually use the correct labels as we spend our time in the garden.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #13
Practicing the Flower Parts

1. Continue with the eight week long focus on garden flowers. Read page 456 in the Handbook of Nature Study-How to Teach the Names of the Parts of a Flower and of the Plant.

“All the names should be taught gradually by constant unemphasized use on the part of the teacher; and if the child does not learn the names naturally then do not make him do it unnaturally.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 456

Here is a link to a diagram that you can print out showing the proper names for the flower parts. This is for you as the parent/nature guide to use to educate yourself on the flower part names. If you start to incorporate these proper labels as you observe your garden flowers, the words will gradually become part of your child’s vocabulary.

2. Take your 10-15 minute outdoor time to look for some garden flowers in your own yard or neighborhood. If you already have some of your own garden flowers blooming, pick one to identify and see if it is listed in the Handbook of Nature Study. Observe your seeds that you planted last week if you did that part of the challenge. Start to use the correct labels for the plant parts that you learned about in step one. If you learn one flower part and use it each week of the focus period, you will know most of the flower parts by the end of that time.

3. Give an opportunity for a nature journal entry. An excellent part of the entry could be the progress that your seeds are making as they start to push out of the soil. Be sure to keep watering your new seedlings as the week goes by. Careful observation with a magnifying lens will open up many interesting things to draw in the journal. If you did not plant seeds or they are not sprouting yet, work on drawing another garden flower in your nature journal.

4. Add to your list of garden flowers that you have planted in your garden or that you have seen during your outdoor time. Check the table of contents for any flower you may be able to read about after you Outdoor Hour time.

5. If you are going to make field guide cards for your garden flowers, add another card this week. If you make one card per week, by the end of this focus period you will have eight cards completed.
https://handbookofnaturestudy.com/2009/07/new-outdoor-hour-challenge-ebook-garden_27.html

This challenge is part of my Garden Flowers ebook. This ebook has ten garden related challenges that will walk you through a study of garden flowers using the Handbook of Nature Study. In addition to the challenges already written, there will be more photos, nature journal examples, book lists, and totally new notebook pages designed to go with each of the Garden Flower Challenges.

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy