Another project from 101 Brilliant Things for Kids to do with Science - and a good one to get going on because you're going to need to allow the children time to press flowers. Start now and they should be ready to construct these suncatchers before the end of the holidays.
You Will Need:
Paper and newspaper
Sticky backed plastic
If you're called an attention seeking show off it's usually a bad thing - unless you are a flower of course. Then the only way to respond is 'thank you - I try my best!' and wait for the pollinating insects to notice you.
Sadly these bright colourful flowers aren't usually around for long, but you can capture a few of them to keep. To do this, pick your flowers (make sure they are dry) and lay them carefully between two plain pieces of paper. Now slip these between a couple of sheets of newspaper, before sandwiching the lot between some heavy books. And wait... for a couple of weeks (sorry!).
Now cut the centre out of two paper plates (bend in the middle and snip to start you off) and then draw around this inner circle twice onto the back of your sticky backed plastic paper. Cut these out but make sure you add about 1cm around the edge so it's bigger than the paper plate hole.
Peel off one circle and stick it to the back of a paper plate so the sticky side is showing through the centre. Now you can get artistic and arrange your pressed flowers for the maximum impact - if you get stuck, pretend you're a flower - they’re great at creating a showy look.
When you're happy with the design, peel the back off the other circle and place it, sticky side down, on top of the flowers, sealing them in. Smooth this out and then add glue around the paper plate edge before sticking the other plate on top to create the frame.
Now you can either use sticky tack to attach your suncatcher to the window or else use a hole punch to create an opening through which you can thread wool, string or ribbon to hang up your suncatcher. As the light shines through it will illuminate the colours - and possibly confuse a few bees who might try visiting.
Tip: You can paint or decorate the top paper plate to make a more elaborate or colourful frame.
If you haven't caused enough mayhem yet:
You can try making a different sun catcher each month with flowers in bloom at that time. And why not use your pressed flowers to decorate placemats or coasters cut from card - just cover these in sticky backed plastic to protect them.
The Sciencey Bit
Petals are specially adapted leaves which are very colourful because they are used to attract pollinating insects like bees and butterflies. These creatures come to drink the nectar and gather pollen but when they fly from one flower to another they also transfer some grains of pollen between them which pollinates the flowers. Pollinated flowers can then go on to form fruits and seeds.