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This activity is featured along with other gift-giving ideas and sweet ways spark joy in our free December activities calendar. Need your copy? Visit tinkergaten.com/calendar today.
Step 1: Pick a context that works for you.
We recognize that, to some families, the word “potion” carries meaning that feels at odds with their beliefs. If that is true for you, you can easily adapt the context. For example, you could make yours a kit for “stone soup,” “a nature mix,” or “nature nectar.”
Step 2: Start with a jar.
Step 3: Transform your jar.
Ask kids if they know of someone who might love to spend time outside, to collect nature treasures and to mix up a nature potion. (Who wouldn’t, really?). Who would your child like to gift a winter potion kit to? A friend? Sibling? Extended family member? Neighbor? Once your child has a recipient in mind, head out to create y0ur winter treasure box together.
Step 4: Collect some winter treasures.
Step 5: Add a few of the ingredients.
For whomever receives your potion pot gift, much of the fun will be gathering even more ingredients outside. Sprinkle a few ingredients you collected to get them started, leaving plenty of room for them to add more. Or, if you have extra small jars or containers, you could package up the treasures as ingredients and include them in a bundle with your potion pot.
Step 6: (Optional) Add a “special ingredient”
If you have some kitchen spices to spare add a bit of them as well. We especially love using cinnamon sticks, star anise and dried lavender in our potions. We tend to stick to natural ingredients for potions, but you can also offer ingredients like glitter, and colors. Or, add a dash of baking soda and include “add a splash of vinegar” in your invitation to play.
(click here to see a version for Potion Pot or Mixing Pot)
Step 7: Print or Write an Invitation to Play!
If you live nearby the person or people you're gifting to, you can also set a date to meet up and enjoy making potions or mixtures together—an added gift!
Why is this activity great for kids?
Potion of mixture play: Making mixtures never gets old—it's a tool for play and investigation they can (and likely will) use again and again. Gathering and mixing ingredients stimulates a range of senses. And, by giving kids a broad goal and the ability to design a concoction recipe in any way they like, you also give them both a reason and the freedom to create in their own way. Kids can engage in the kind of playful and iterative exploration that is fundamental tinkering. And why is tinkering so important? It's a critical way to develop creativity and problem solving skills.