Leaf Rubbings and Printing

I hadn’t planned to do a Messy Play activity today but it got to 3pm or so and the boys were driving me craaaazyyy, so out they went into the garden just as it started to get dark and scooted and chased each other round and round while I watched them out of the kitchen window. They weren’t keen on collecting leaves though, complaining that the leaves in our garden are too crinkly and yucky (I have to agree with them there, it’s not a great batch). Next time we will walk down the road to Golders Hill Park where the paths are littered with perfectly-edged, ENORMOUS yellow and orange ones. For today, I had to find a few myself for our afternoon of crayon-rubbing and paint-printing (as requested by Gabs).

But wait! We can’t work on an empty stomach. First, chocolate digestives and milk…


Leaf Rubbing

The plan was for me to set up the boys with leaves, paper and crayons, show them how to do it and then leave them to to it while I had a cup of tea. But it turns out that leaf-rubbing is surprisingly tricky for small hands, even with me holding the paper down. The leaves moved around under the paper, the paper moved every time Gabs rubbed his crayon a bit too rigorously and he got frustrated, so after boiling the kettle three times I gave up and accepted this would be a supervised activity. That said, when it worked, he got really excited and loved the results and he did get the hang of it enough to do a few himself by the end.

Lucian joined in briefly before deciding random scribbling was more fun but between us we ended up with a nice collection of different colours and shapes.


Although leaf-rubbings are fun to do, you couldn’t really call it messy and Gabs isn’t thoroughly satisfied with his weekend unless it involves some sort of paint. So we kept our leaves, moved the crayons aside and got out the paints. Now, officially leaf painting is a bit easier than leaf-rubbing in terms of keeping the paper still, but a white IKEA table, a plate full of paint and a four year old and a two year old is recipe for something if not a full-blown disaster. In the past, I’ve used these Saturday afternooon Messy Play activities to keep them occupied for a long stretch (hovering around taking photos of them at work, cleaning the kitchen, starting to blog it already or at least getting the dinner on.) But today had to be heavily supervised.

Man, I supervised the crap out of those kids….

Again, we used different leaf shapes and colours and as well as painting the leaves and pressing them onto the paper we tried sponging paint around the outline of the leaf.

Surprisingly, Lucian was less concerned with painting my kitchen than lining up the paint pots in a straight line and throwing them into the box, but it was lucky I supervised Gabs who moved onto hand-printing.

We ended up with a nice collection, and then while I started blogging, Gabs carried on with his favourite obsessive activity: drawing the planets of the solar system. He also cut them out this time and tomorrow we’ll buy a big black sky to stick them onto from the art shop.

And I finally got that cup of tea… (*ahem*)


This was a Messy Play for Matilda Mae activity. messy-play-large1

Messy Play for Matilda Mae – Silver & Gold Leaves Christmassy Wreath

I’ve really missed Messy Play for Matilda Mae over the last few months. This is our first messy play in the new house (which really isn’t that new anymore!) which should tell you in one second that I’m really not … Continue reading

I love …

Being home alone in my flat on a quiet, rainy afternoon (happens rarely)

My husband, who wants me to be free and have a creative life and work I love

My gorgeous boys

A hot bubble bath

Walking in Regent’s Park

Autumn in London

To have peace and quiet to cook in my kitchen with a glass of red wine and the radio on

Me and my two boys snuggling up to watch a DVD in bed

A quiet cappuccino and a copy of Red magazine

Lavender – the plant and the smell

Trips down memory lane via photo albums

Acting class

Clean white cotton bedding, especially if I didn’t have to put it on the bed myself

Morning coffees made by my Dad in Cornwall, with my feet up, overlooking the sea

Long family drives with Remus and the boys… could be going anywhere, as long as we’re all out together, which is rare!

Dinner out with my husband – again, rare!

Watching my boys play in the garden

Long chats with Mum & Dad on the phone

An exciting project to work on

Buying presents for my children

Planning children’s birthdays and Christmas

Planning concerts

Drinking champagne with good friends

What things do you love, big or small?