I have a copy of the Usborne NatureTrail Omnibus from when I was young and we’ve used it quite a lot over the summer to identify things and find the answers to some questions from the children. The other day I spotted one of the ‘things to do’ that I thought we must have a go at, pressing leaves into salt dough to make leaf tiles. So today we gave it a go and it was really easy for the girls to do. They helped to make the dough, then had a little play with it and then I showed them how to make the tiles. We broke off a ball of dough and rolled it round so it was smooth, then squashed it down a bit with hands to make it a bit flatter. Then the girls used the rolling pins to make it smooth and flat and then pressed the leaves into the dough (spine side down). They used fingers and the rolling pins again to press the leaf down well, and then gently lifted the leaf off. Then we baked them on a low heat of a couple of hours. The tiles came out great, though I wish I had found leaves with wider spines for an even better effect.
The girls were really pleased and wanted to paint them, which we did the next day. Sadly a little of the leaf indentation was lost in the painting process (though they didn’t notice this), next time I would probably recommend that we varnish them instead. A lovely addition to our autumn collection and display.