Sensory-rich activities: connecting people with the outdoors

Pressing flowers

Pressing flowers is a great way of transforming the beauty of fresh flowers into long-lasting treasures. The effects can be simply stunning. They lend themselves to a wide range of creative uses - decorating cards, candles, paper, lanterns - and you'll find all sorts of great ideas on the Internet. We focus on flowers and creative activities that bring sensory interest through qualities like scent, texture, colour combinations and memory associations.

a fan made from dried flower petals

How to make pressed flowers

Pressing is very strightforward. It can be as simple as putting flowers between the leaves of a book although to work with more material and get more predictable results it's better to use a flower press. These are cheap to buy or simple to make.

The technique is very easy and we've made this short how-to video to show how the basics -

If you want to keep your flowers and leaves supple when they are dry you can soak them in glycerin first, you'll find plenty of blogs that tell you how to do this for best results.

How we've used pressed flowers:

Reminiscence activities with people living with dementia and memory loss - works well because of the rich memories linked with flowers. Read more in our Creative Spaces project >>

Creative activities with young and older carers - easy, low-cost and attractive and can be used in lots of ways. Read more in our carers project >>

Sensory-rich visits to farms, gardens and nature reserves - gives people something to take away with them as a lasting reminder of their day. Read more in our Let Nature Feed Your Senses project >>

Find out how our getting to know you books are helping families and carers connect with loved ones living with dementia.

Dementia and nature activity book by Sensory Trust