Flower Lab – Explore With Nature Activity

flower science project

Kids love to tinker and take things apart but you don’t have to stick to mechanical things they can take apart natural things too. This is a great nature activity for a rainy summer day when you still want to explore but can’t do it outside. Our bouquet was starting to wilt so  I decided to grab it off the hearth and gather some tools to dissect it with.  My three year old was slow to get into it but once she did the exploration was a hit.

Gather your materials. You will need some flowers with leaves and stems, a cutting board, plain white paper, a rolling pin or brayer roller, tweezers, and scissors.

Start by setting up the lab. Make it inviting. There is no wrong way to do this but creating an inviting set up can peak your child’s interest much more than if you just say ” Want to take apart some flowers?”. I put the lab on our coffee table and just left it alone waiting for her to decide it was time to explore. science for preschool

The tweezers drew her attention right away. She pulled petals off and I was giddy looking at how she was using and strengthening her fine motor skills. flower fine motor exploration

Next she made some prints by squishing the petals between the paper and using the brayer on it. Opening the paper to reveal the color left by pressing the flower into the paper.flower lab experiment for kids

She took her time taking these flowers apart. The buds were especially interesting. flower lab science for kids

The finale was cutting. She loves scissors and cutting the different textures was interesting and we talked about why some parts for the flower was easier to cut than others. flower lab exploration for kids

 

Books About Flowers

Here are a few of my very favorite books about flowers. For a longer list check our Flower Book List here. All of our book lists contain affiliate links.

tiny seed

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is a story about a tiny seed who unlike the other seeds from his flower makes it against all odds to continue the cycle of life. I really enjoy this book and love how it shows all the obstacles along the way for a simple little seed. My children both really like this book and I like how it connects kids to nature.

zinna's garden

Zinnia’s Flower Garden by Monica Wellington is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden. Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year. I love that the main story is perfect for my almost three year old but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well. Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.

Spring Flower Suncatchers

easy flower craft for kids We made these flower suncatchers a few weeks ago in an attempt to beckon spring. It worked because now the trees are blooming! OK so these flower suncatchers probably don’t have the ability to force trees and flowers to bloom but they do instantly brighten up any window you pop them in. These fancy flowers are actually really easy to make.  If you want to add more steps for older children you can use white construction paper and have the kids color the flowers but for my little three year old this simple collage craft was a perfect fit! Don’t be fooled as simple as this craft is it is also develops fine motor skills which will make things like cutting and writing less frustrating for my little artist.  Crafts can get a bad reputation but if you look at them as one tool in a big tool box of hands on learning they are fantastic!

Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper, contact paper, and sequins. Ours came from our friends at craftprojectideas.com we love their materials!sequin flower craft for spring

Start by cutting out the flowers. I fold construction paper in half to make it easier to cut the middle out. Next cut the middle out of the flower so you have a frame.flower sun catcher craft for springPlace the flowers face down on the contact paper sticky side up. Trim.contact paper flower sun catchers

Let your little one explore the sequins. This step was by far the longest for us. She explored, found favorite colors, shapes and other treasure.contact paper flower craft with sequins

Add them on to the sticky contact paper. spring flower sun catcher craft for kidsShow your child how to press them on to make sure they stick. Dumping them on like this isn’t the best way but if they do follow my daughter’s lead just shake off the extra and play press the sequin while counting! You can sneak in a little math that way too. If you want to you can add another layer of contact paper over the sequins. We opted to leave it as is and have only had a sequin or two fall off. flower sun catcher sequin craft

Pop them in a window and beckon spring!!sparkle flower craft in window

Books About Flowers

Check out some of our favorite books about flowers for kids in our post here.

 

books about flowers for kids

 

 

Alphabet Activity – Flower Garden

by Allison McDonald alphabet activityWe have been doing so many playdough and other sensory activities lately that it was about time to get back to a simple and playful alphabet activity. This alphabet activity is part of our Alphabet For Starters series. This series is all about playing with letters, discovering them without pressure. This alphabet garden is super simple but can be made more challenging with a few simple changes.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper ( rumor has it that the dollar store is carrying it now! ), some green construction paper, multi-color construction paper, scissor and a marker or two.letter flower garden
  2. Attach the contact paper to the wall sticky side out. She loves to “get stuck” on the wall . letter flower mural
  3. Next step is making some grass. Fold your green paper, and cut.letter garden grass
  4. Next cut some stems and flowers. I did tulips because they are easy to free hand cut.letter garden alphabet activity for toddlers
  5. Add letters to your flowers. Now here is where you can easily customize this activity. For my daughter I did plain old lowercase letters. You can do upper or a mix or write letters on the stems and have it turn into a match game.letter flowers for alphabet activities
  6. Set the pieces out and let your kiddo explore.letter flowers
  7. My daughter loves flowers and she got right into it. alphabet letter activityWe talked about the letters, the colors of the flowers and how the stems are different lengths. Don’t pressure young kids to do every letter. My daughter put a handful on while we played the first time and then I left it all set up and a few days letter she returned and added a few more. I will leave it up for a few more days and I am sure she will keep adding a few every day.letter flower alphabet The whole point is to play and discover letters. As she adds the letters to the wall she naturally says ” Look this is A,  it’s your letter Mama!” and we talk about it .flower letters for toddlers

If you are looking for a more traditional letter of the week approach we have many letter of the week ideas here. My son loved cutting and pasting so we made fun letter crafts when he was learning his letters. Find what works best for your child, what they enjoy and don’t forget to have fun!

 

Sticky Window Flower Garden

by Allison McDonald
Sticky Window Flower Garden for Toddlers

Like many of my activities this sticky window was spur of the moment. I was trying to get ready for our family trip to Texas and my 2 year old had already watched more TV than I care to admit. We needed an easy and fun activity . This was perfect. I had a bouquet of flowers that I was going to have to throw away before we left anyway so it was even better that we could use it for this. If you don’t have a bouquet of wilting flowers on hand you can use leaves, grass clippings, pine cones, etc… Go on a nature walk and see what will stick!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, painter’s tape, scissors and flowers or other bits of nature.  I used markers to make some stems and the start of the mural but it was totally NOT needed. I wish I had not done this. The flowers and sticky window is enough.  I would have put up another sheet of contact paper but it’s expensive and my daughter was waiting. sticky window flower garden for toddlers 2
  2. Tape the contact paper on the window. The way I do this is to peel a little bit back and tape the top. sticky windowThe sticky side is facing YOU.  The carefully peel the backing off. Tape all the other sides down with the painter’s tape. sticky wall 2
  3. Prep the flowers in a bowl or container for your child.  My daughter loved just playing with the flowers , pulling them apart and investigating. I loved watching her. sticky wall flower activity for toddlers
  4. Stick the flowers on. sticky window garden craft for kids She was totally into this flower sticky walland  it was such  pretty addition to our kitchen. sticky window 33

Easy Mother’s Day Craft For Kids

kids craft for mother's day I love getting kid made gifts especially for holidays like Mother’s Day . This is possibly the easiest mother’s day craft ever. Anyone , even the most un-crafty person can handle it , add in a few fresh flowers and you have a cute and functional gift for mom. As you will see both my kids made one and I have a few tips for doing this with a toddler .This is a great last minute craft to make as there are few steps and almost no drying time either!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a small smoothie sized container , permanent markers, ribbon and scissors. I also used some cardboard for a mat to protect the table.kids craft vase
  2. Start by taking the labels off the bottles.
  3. Start coloring. They can write words, do a drawing or just some fun abstract designs. Using permanent markers is a huge treat at my house so my son was thrilled. vase for mother's day
  4. The markers don’t dry right away so make sure you tell your kids to be careful to avoid the wet marker. This made my son take more care while making it which is a goal for us. We are working hard on him not rushing through everything.
  5. My daughter who is 22 months even made one. I sat her on my lap and held the bottle for her while she used the markers. By having her on my lap I could easily grab the marker if it started towards the table, her face, my face… anywhere that permanent marker would not be welcome.
  6. Next tie some ribbon and add flowers. We will put real tulips in on Sunday. 

Favorite Books About Mom

I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt is a wonderful mushy book that will still appeal to kids that aren’t so into mush. A little boy in his PJs asks his mom if she will still love him even if he was a series of terrible monsters. It reminds me of “The Runaway Bunny” but less saccharine and creepy. Sorry if I have just called your favorite book creepy but I’ve never been a fan of “The Runaway Bunny”. Back to this book and why I like it, I love that the little boy in the book keeps trying to find ways to make him unlovable and the mom keeps finding ways to love unconditionally. There is a deeper meaning here and moms will see past the fun illustrations to the real heart of this book, which is no matter what we love our children. When I found this in a thrift store and read it quickly, I couldn’t look at my son in his stroller throwing puffs on the floor without tearing up.

Mommy, Mama, and Me by Lesléa Newman is a book about everyday life of a family with two moms. What I love about this book is that it showcases parts of the day that young toddlers through preschoolers can relate to easily. They have bath time, they go to the park, they cook dinner, in other words they are a family like any with a small child. My son loved this book and related easily to the baby in the book and to the experiences that they share.The book makes no political statement, no explanation of two mommies and it shouldn’t, it’s a book about one loving family and nothing more.

 Mama Always Comes Home by Karma Wilson was a last minute grab at the library that I am so thankful I saw. It starts off with animal mother’s leaving their babies, for all different reasons . A bird gathering food, a dog greeting his master and more. The animal mothers leave, but they also always return to their babies. Then it switches to a child and mother. She reassures the child that she will be back and we watch her leave, and return . I loved this book because my son isn’t the best when I leave him, he related to this book immediately and was repeating ” Mama always comes home!” half way through