In the 1970s (eek, showing my age) times were so different. We lived in a world where it simply wasn’t possible to pop into town and pick up slick, carefully marketed merchandise from our favourite TV show. Instead, we collected cardboard and plastic bottles throughout the week so that when we avidly tuned into Blue Peter with our parents, we would learn how to make Sindy furniture to die for, or brilliant bottle rockets in the garden.
My Summer afternoons as a chubby, ringlet-haired tot were spent force-feeding my ever patient mum cup after plastic pink fairy cup of squash at our garden tea parties, making fairy dresses out of nasturtium flowers to leave by the backdoor (for the pixies to discover overnight) or if it rained, making the whole family cram into my wendy house, positioned front and centre of the French windows, after pleading with them to wedge through the little red flap that resembled a front door into a claustrophobic nightmare.
Whatever I was playing, it was make-believe and interactive…and whatever props we couldn’t get in the shops, my mum would create from household objects.
As a teacher (part time now) I understand how vital role play is in the development of our little ones’ social education, which is my excuse for why my house is a shambles. My boys and I spend our days playing together and learning from each other; each Christmas, the jolly man in the red suit ensures that his main gift is a role play based one. In 2011 it was a white retro kitchen, and 2012 a pine market shop with a red-striped awning.
The shop has seen many refurbishments since December; a food shop at Christmas, a candy store at Easter, a Sunflower adoption home a few weeks ago…and after browsing Pinterest for far too long last week, I became “Pinspired” to create a florist’s store for my boys. You see, we grow vegetables and fruits in our garden but aside from the sweet peas, the pretty floral stuff is thin on the ground which upsets Jensen immensely.
Since he could walk, Our Little Adventurer has picked daisies and buttercups, weeds and blossoms and come running, grasping and crunching the flowers tightly in his palm, with a smile so hopeful of praise to reward his affections that I decided to return the love by creating a store full of blooms for him and Baby Dragon to play with.
After a cheerful Saturday morning shopping-plus-cake extravaganza (which you can see here) at Hobbycraft (my husband worries when I say the “H” word”…it’s like an addiction; too many rainbow supplies under one roof and I can’t get them into the basket fast enough) we returned home laiden with rainbow coloured treasures…and silver bells. Every flower nursery should have silver bells. No cockle shells though. Not this time…although they do sell them…but we did find some at the beach today.
During Baby Dragon’s nap time, Our Little Adventurer got started with his blooms and we spent an hour and a half glueing, glittering and giggling about our creations.
The rainbow supplies were irresistible to little fingers…. Sparkly, fluffy and full of fun.
There was crunching, scrunching… Serious business at hand.
I’m always grateful for the part of Our Little Adventurer that somehow knows Momma does not want glue everywhere.
Little fingers worked hard, his three year old creativity exploding onto the blank, white circles.
When the floral fun was over, tiny, tired glittery fingers were wiped on white shirts.
It was time for Dadda to come home.
Later that evening, when the bedtime routine was complete, my boys’ beautiful blue eyes closing as they drifted to dreamland, my elves-and-the-shoemaker type workshop downstairs started its engines. Dadda cooked dinner as I concertina-folded reams of bright coloured tissue paper, snipped and clipped petals and wound pipe cleaner stems, ready for the grand opening*.
If you’d like to make them, too here’s how I did it (after reading far too many Pinterest tutorials)…
The boys got so excited with their new shop. You could even scent the flowers with a little perfume or embellish with silver bells (as we did, by tying them to the stems) or glitter. Simple, cheap, and fun to create…and the memories? Priceless, naturally.
*I’ll mention at this point that when I showed Dadda the finished products that night, he was more than a little impressed, having apparently envisaged something a little less 3D and more flat, cut out flower shape on a stick. The faith my husband has in me….in any case, I am proud of them for my first attempt.