These completely straightforward lavender bag “sweeties” are an ideal summertime activity for toddlers.
They’re simple, as quick as you want them to be (just a few minutes per bag if you like), and, crucially, you end up with something that’s useful – a lovely lavender bag, or several, which you can use to scent drawers or under mattresses or as gifts.
The children get a great lesson in nature study, too.
What you need:
1. A lavender bush in a garden
2. Small fabric scraps in bright colours, ripped or cut into rough shapes about the size of your hand (if your children have the patience, they can help make these – I just used some existing scraps I had to make life extra easy).
What to do:
Simply sit holding a fabric scrap in your hand, wrong side up, and let the children pick lavender and dump it on the fabric. Once you have enough lavender buds to fill a bag, simply fold the fabric around a few times to encase them securely and tightly knot each end to secure those and make a sweetie shape.
If you’re worried your child might undo the knots, you can tie around the knots with ribbons or even sew the bags closed later on, but our lavender bags have stayed sealed without any extras.
What the children thought:
This was enormous fun for my 18-month-old daughter Lovell – she instinctively likes to rip petals off flowers so this formed an ideal channel for her otherwise destructive habit. She loved bustling busily from the lavender bush back to me and depositing small piles of lavender buds into my lap with squeals of excitement.
My four-year-old son, Humphrey, was less diligent, and flitted in and out of the activity between riding his bike, but was interested in talking about concepts of the wind blowing the buds out of our hands, and the smell of the lavender, which is now a plant he easily recognises. ‘If it blows away it will be sad and we won’t have the bag anymore,’ he said. He was excited to place the lavender bag under his mattress, making a joke that it smelled bad and then saying: ‘It smells yum yum in my bed – it’s a bit like a sweetie.’
Tears and tantrums quotient:
LOW – this was a very easy and fun activity even for two children at a time, with little that can go wrong.
Parental mess-cleaning and exhaustion quotient:
LOW – it’s outdoors and all you need to keep hold of are a piece or two of fabric.
Kept them entertained for:
Lovely lavender bags. The more lavender you put in, the stronger the scent.
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