I often mark the start of the season or a main celebration with a seasonal basket. This is a great way of getting children really excited about a certain time of year and also teaching them about the seasons. You can be really frugal with this idea and really not spend anything or you can use it as a way to add to certain collections. Here is an example of our summer basket that I created last year.
I start off with a simple basket or even a small kids garden trug. I usually line this in a play silk, so something from our existing collection, or it could be a piece of cloth you’ve dyed yourself or even just a beautiful piece of fabric from the charity shop. I find play silks and fabric gets lots of use in our home and ours are played with in a ton of ways so this item is really useful. I will chose colours that reflect the season so for summer colours such as blossom shades of pinks and purples, or sun colours of yellow and gold work really well.
Then I add in a small book, I love the mini Elsa Beskow books, the Sun Egg is a lovely one to put in, the Beatrix potter books are also a good size and a summery one could be the Tale of Mrs Tiddle Mouse who has to ward off a load of bees from her tidy mouse house.
After the book I usually like to add in a wooden figure. We collect the holztiger or Ostemier wooden toys and I really like to add to our collection by adding one figure into the basket. For summer I would look for sea animals, fish, birds, or safari animals. Felted animals are also a lovely addition and be crafted at home quite easily. A bee would be a sweet thing to add in.
Then I just think about what crafts we want to do as a family and pop those bits in, so it could be some yellow playdough, some modelling beeswax, some yellow crayons, gold paper, dough stamps, stickers, bubble mixure, a small sailboat, a sand mould for the beach, a little sun hat etc. Most of these things can be found around the home and will still bring joy!
Once I have the basket filled up I gift it to my children and they are always beyond excited.
You could take it to another level by giving it over a summer themed tea party. How sweet would that be? You could bake some treats inspired by the sun and summers bounty-so for example a summer solstice cake, sun bread, blueberry tarts or a sweet bilberry bread. And serve up an iced herbal tea along with some summer themed books to read together.