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wild ideas

festive potions

suitable for all ages individually or as part of a group

you will need:

  • A selection of natural materials - pine cones, berries, autumn leaves, holly, pine or fir, feathers or flowers and any other natural items you may find outside

  • A jar or container to mix your potion

  • Some food colouring or christmas sparkles (optional)

wild advice:
Christmas is a time where emotions can run high. If your child is very excited one minute and then throwing a tantrum, or displaying emotional outbursts, or alternatively not smiling or laughing as much, it can be distressing for them and for you.

This activity is a great one and can be used for lots of different things, but in this example you can use each of the resources to represent feelings and talk about what each one represents as it is added to the potion.

What happens to the potion when you mix it up?

getting started:
Take a walk along a hedgerow or even into your garden with your child and look for items with different textures and colours.

Discuss the look and feel of each item and then begin to talk about how each object could remind them of an emotion. Sand or feathers are soft, so could represent kindness, holly is prickly and could be anger.

Fill your jars or containers with water and gradually mix up your potion, adding the ingredients one at a time, to represent how your child may be feeling.

Talk about how the potion looks and how adding more of one resource can change the colour and consistency of the potion.


tears and tantrums
Is your child displaying uncontrollable or emotional outbursts, crying at the slightest thing? Christmas can be a time when children become over-tired and grumpy or angry really quickly.

Spending time doing a passive activity like this can really help to calm them down and it’s great fun making up these festive brews. If you do this with others, compare how different all of the potions look at the end.

Make up a wild recipe card so you know what the best potion looks like!

  • A pinch of kindness

  • A spoonful of happiness

  • A handful of listening

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