Follow the yellow brick road

A couple of weeks ago I went to a Flower Festival at Houghton Towers near Blackburn. The theme was Fairy Tales and the work and creativity that had gone into preparing the 80-plus exhibits was incredible. A bedroom with four-poster bed had been turned into Sleeping Beauty’s flower-filled boudoire, the main hall with minstrel’s gallery had become a leafy Hogwarts and one of the courtyards was Treasure Island. Leading up to the hall, on both sides of the driveway, was a yellow brick road and characters from the Wizard of Oz, all decorated in flowers.

But it was the yellow brick road that got me thinking – hundreds of yellow squares, each one decorated differently using a collage of dried flowers, seeds, pine cones, string etc. It was a lovely day and I was longing to take off my shoes and go barefoot. And that’s when I started thinking about a textured yellow brick road for the children to walk. Pine Cones and prickly seeds are obviously out – but there are lots of other materials that you could use.

Start with a pack of heavyweight white card or pick out the yellow cards from a pack of coloured card. Give each child one, or more, pieces of card and if you’re using plain white, get them to paint it yellow.

Now it’s time to add the different textures. Here are some ideas – all safe for little feet:

Yellow Feathers

Yellow Craft Fluffs

Yellow string or chenille swirled into different shapes and patterns and stuck to the card.

Gold sequin mesh

A piece of bubble-wrap glued to the card, so that the yellow shows through.

Traditional egg boxes squashed, painted yellow and stuck to the card.

The possibilities are endless and I’m sure you can think of lots more yourself.

Once you’ve planned your path you can then get the children to follow the yellow brick road. You could even blindfold them and lead them along it letting them guess what each brick is made of.

So there you have a sensorial feast for feet (and hands) but don’t forget the other senses: smell, taste and hearing. Something fun to do inside, now the days are getting colder!

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