It can be hard to come up with fresh ideas for flat lays and keep it fun. It is easy to get stuck in your own rut of recycled ideas, but two things happened this year. First my baby became an active, curious little kid and secondly I connected with a lot of new moms via Instagram, who are early childhood creative play experts! This prompted me to try a new approach to my nature flat lays. I always enjoyed thinking about my artwork as a form of #petalplay , but now I am trying to link my arrangements to actual child sensory and creative play ideas. Sometimes I start with the flat lay, while other times I am inspired by a play idea that I see and use this theme to create a petal equivalent.
My recent campfire flat lay is a good example of being inspired by childhood play. I saw a tutorial by @makingwithmommy for a campfire craft for kids using recycled materials. We had recently come home from a camping trip so the idea hit home for me. I was also collecting cardboard boxes and toilet paper rolls and here was my chance to use them! Ethan, my three year old, helped my paint the cardboard and I used a hot glue gun to assemble. As I was setting up the pretend campfire in the living room for some after nap play, the inspiration for the petal fire struck me! After shooting the flat lay, I decided to reuse the materials that I had gathered to assemble a quick play dough tray with loose parts.
Campfire Flat Lay
Campfire Play Dough Tray
Another playful example is my corn and petal powered rocket ship. This flat lay was a result of thinking about materials, specifically the 2 week old corn if my fridge that needed to be used since we forgot to eat it. We have been seeing space themes everywhere this summer with the anniversary of the moon landing, so a rocket ship somehow came to mind! The result was something completely out of my normal flat lay comfort zone. I was also able to connect this rocket creation to a numbers book that Ethan had recently been reading, in order to tie in some educational play.
Corn and Cucumber Rocket Ship
Blast off! Numbers
I think one of the most important things is to remain playful and adventurous in your art making. We can learn so much by watching children at play!
Mermaid match activity
Petal play colour match clothesline
Creating with kids is so rewarding and helps them learn and play using every day items. For more creative play ideas for your little ones visit Alyssa on Instagram at @astokes_photo