Flowers are one of my favorite items to set out for young children to explore. The inherent connection to nature combined with the varied and vibrant colors, scents, and textures all make for great discoveries. Here are a few ways to involve flowers in children’s play, using store bought or flowers found outside!
1) Arrange them!
Set up a lovely flower arrangement station using a vase, or even an overturned colander. If you’re lucky to grab a few varied types, all the better, but a few stems of one type of plant can still work. This practice can help with gentleness and patience, as well as allow for creative expression. There is no wrong way to make a beautiful arrangement!
2) Draw them!
After the flowers are arranged to your family’s liking, lay out crayons, pastels, markers, or paints and be inspired! The flowers can be used as a loose inspiration or you can work on following line and color as best as you can - again, no wrong way!
3) Magnify them!
Magnifying glasses laid out next to flowers immediately invites closer inspection. What details can you see once taking a deeper look?
4) Cut them!
As the flowers begin to wilt, you can lay out child safe scissors and let them get to work, snipping the stems, leaves and petals to their heart’s desires! The different textures of the parts of the flower can keep the activity novel and interesting. After they are done cutting, the remains can go directly into a water sensory bin for an follow up activity.
5) Press them!
To press flowers, gather clean flowers and place them face down in a large book lined with parchment paper. Close the book, weight it down, and leave undisturbed for around one week. A true test of patience for our young friends! You can then glue to paper and frame if you so like!
6) Display them!
Another way to create a display is by using contact paper. Create a cardboard frame and have your kid place the petals, stems, and leaves on the sticky paper in whatever design they so choose!