My daughter loves flowers , especially picking the petals off so I channeled that into a fun summer craft. These easy to make placemats aren’t only cute they are functional too. We’ve been using ours all week. The other thing I really love about this activity is that it gets kids outside exploring their garden. Another way to explore the garden is to go on a scavenger hunt or try our sticky window for flowers. Here is how we did it.
- Gather your materials. You will need a full sheet of construction paper or card stock , scissors, clear contact paper, and a bucket to collect flowers. You will also obviously need some flowers to pick.
- Start by folding your paper in half horizontally.
- Cut the middle out so you have a frame.
- Send your little one off to pick flowers. Our back garden is very small so she can’t wander too far. I was able to get the contact paper cut and the back peeled off without her offering any help.
- Place or frame on the contact paper. The sticky side should be up.
- Time to pull the flowers apart. My daughter loved this. She does it all the time and it’s great for her fine motor development.
- Add the single petals to the contact paper. Make sure they are inside the frame. My daughter only wanted pink petals so I made a mat with some of the other petals she picked.
- After all the petals are added Add a second layer of contact paper and carefully sandwich the petals between them. Press. My daughter decided to sit on hers to press it.
- Trim the edges and you are ready to go!
Books About Flowers
A Gardener’s Alphabet by Mary Azarian is a fresh and so richly illustrated alphabet book you will likely have the same thoughts I did while reading it with my son ” I need to frame these pages!” they are that awesome. What I think the main benefit of this book is , is that the words chosen for each letter are not the same old ones you see over and over in alphabet books. The words used are things like Japanese Garden for J, Lawn Ornaments for L and my favorite was Underground for U with a cool illustrations of worms, root vegetables and roots !
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 son liked this book but didn’t make it all the way through, which I expected since it is a long book for a 2 year old.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author.
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Mother’s Day is less than a month away so it’s the perfect time to gather up all our flower themed crafts for kids and share them in one easy spot for you to find them. Over the years we have done a number of easy flower crafts for kids and toddlers that use common household materials so they are frugal too. Here are our top 21 flower crafts for kids.
Flower Cookie Cutter Prints ( great for toddlers)
Foam Flower Magnets
Pool Noodle Bouquet For Mother’s Day
Fingerprint Flower ( another great toddler craft)
Spring Flower Mural
Dried Lentil Flowers
Newspaper and Button Flowers
Paint Chip Flowers
Cupcake Liner Poppies
Felt Flower & Color Mixing
Paper Roll Pop Out Flowers
Easter Egg Flowers
Pool Noodle Flower Garland
Pasta Flower Centerpieces
Giant Sunflower Craft
We have giant daisies in our backyard and thank goodness we do because all my son has wanted to do for art lately has been firetruck or dirt related. Not that most of my readers can’t appreciate that but it’s nice to squeeze some prettier more genteel themes in with the diggers and sirens. This was fast but substantial and after making it we picked a few daisies and counted their petals too!
- Gather your materials. You will need 4 colors ( white, yellow, green and blue) of construction paper ( really you only need one full piece , the others can be scrap) , a marker, glue , scissors and a circle paper punch if you have it.
- Start by punching out some yellow circles, for the center of the daisies. My son adored this step and I had to get him some scrap paper to keep going.
- Cut some stems from the green paper. You can make leaves too, we just chose not to.
- Cut out petals from the white paper.
- Ask your child for numbers to put in the middle of the flowers. Alternatively you can write in the numbers you know your child is struggling with , if you do that write a few they are consistently successful with as well. By setting them up for success with some of the numbers you will boost their confidence and they are more likely to take on the challenge of a “trickier” number.
- Glue the stems on.
- Add glue for the centers.
- Add the centers.
- Add the petals. I had my son read me the number, then he counted the petals as he added them. Then after he was done we “checked his work” by counting them again.
- Let dry.
I’m a little daisy
tall and slim.
Here are my petals and here is my stem.
When the sun comes up and the rain comes down
I grow and grow up from the ground.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes is a lovely book about having confidence, loosing confidence and regaining it in the end. Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name until she goes to school and is picked on for it being out of the ordinary. Who can’t relate to this? I know I can . Thankfully my son has yet to experience this all too common, but still so heartbreaking experience . I love that I have a book like this to share with him and open up about it before it happens. Ultimately Chrysanthemum learns to love her name again and regains the confidence she once had. Another fantastic book from a consistently wonderful author
The Gardener by Sarah Stewart Is a really touching book that I would happily recommend for school age children. It’s a beautiful story about a little girl during the depression who is shipped to the city to work in her uncle’s bakery because both her parents are out of work. She is obviously nervous but knows that it’s something she has to do. She takes a little of the country with her in seed packets which she plants in the city while she learns about baking and becomes friends with her uncles employees. This is more a story about making the most of hard times, and would be a great way to talk about the great depression with your child. There are so many little things in the illustrations by David Small to talk about , from a picture of FDR to traveling by train and the general sense of sadness . In the end it’s a warm hearted book that I can’t wait to share with my son in a few years.
The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jennifer Wojtowicz is one of those books that stays with you. Rink is a little boy who’s family is strange, Rink is no exception, with every full moon he sprouts flowers , from his head. At school he is an outsider and only when a new girl comes to school does he make a friend. He reaches out to her because she too is an outsider, not at school, in her own family. In the end the kindred spirits celebrate their uniqueness. This odd romantic story will warm your heart and serves as a great lesson about how we all feel different and like an outsider sometimes. The illustrations by Steve Adams will stun you, they were so vibrant and paired so perfectly with the story. Wonderful!
Now that school is out for most of you I have been brainstorming crafts that are a little more challenging but that can be adapted for younger kids as well. This was fun to make and by no means do you or your child have to make flowers, the sky is the limit with these fun vibrant colors. Also you can take this opportunity to talk about shades and hues ! Don’t miss the matching activity after the craft for younger kids either!
- Gather your materials. You will need some paint samples, scissors, paper and glue.
- Start by deciding what to create, or deciding to make an abstract creation.
- I started with some grass and glued it on my paper.
- Next I made flower stems and leaves, and added them.
- Time for some pretty colors, I chose to make pink and purple flowers.
- Cut out the petals and glued them on.
- Now was the more creative part – the “extras” I decided to make some clouds with a dusty blue.
- Then my favorite a butterfly!
- As it dries the glue will stick but the paint samples will pull away some. I personally LOVE this, I like how 3 dimensional it makes the craft. If you don’t like this just pop a piece of wax paper over it and lay a heavy book on top for a few hours.
Paint Color Match
This activity is not just a color match it’s also a wonderful fine motor challenge for toddlers and preschoolers.
Here are the instructions.
I love how these flowers look, they are brightening up my kitchen as I type and I love that they will look just as good in a week! My son hasn’t been into making crafts as much lately so I haven’t been pushing it, and have been resisting the urge to offer cookie bribes for crafts too. Kids go through different interests and just because I have a blog doesn’t mean my kid is any different, pushing and bribing them will just send the wrong message . He came in to help with some of the steps but really just wanted to play with the tape ! Choose your battles and for me art time is not one to bother with, it should be fun not work.
- Gather your materials. You will need a pool noodle that has a pretty flower shape, a bread knife, some green pipe cleaners, some green construction paper, a pen and double stick tape.
- Start by cutting your pool noodle into 1″ – 1.5 ” slices, one for every flower you want to make.
- My son was determined to cut the noodle but he’s not allowed to use knives, I think this is where he decided that I would be on my own for art time , he got angry, frustrated and tried to explain to me why he is old enough to use a knife , and when I didn’t buy it he was done .
- Stick the pipe cleaners into the flowers. This will be tricky for little guys but 3 and up can do it with minimal help. Just be careful they are sharp.
- Cut the leaves, if my son was helping I would have had him cut the leaves from the green paper. To make it easier on beginner cutters, pre cut the paper into a strip and have them simply cut pieces off. For more adept scissor users just let them make the leaves however they want.
- Write on each leaf something your child says they like about mom – I managed to get answers from my son who was playing in the next room. Make sure to leave some room on the ends of the leaves for the tape .
- Add double stick tape to the ends of the leaves and wrap around the stems.
- Pop them in a vase and enjoy the flowers and all the special messages on them.
Mother’s Day Books
Did I Tell You I Love You Today? by Deloris Jordan is a very practical yet heartwarming look at all the ways parents show love to their children everyday, from feeding them healthy food to praying after they go to bed. My son loved all the big boy things in the book like, the school bus, basketball and the playground. I teared up reading the book, but I cry at American Idol so that may not be indicative of anything!
Piglet and Mama by Margaret Wild is a mother’s day book I would suggest for the under 3 crowd. My son loved it. Piglet is searching for his mom and even though all the other animal mommies offer for him to join them and their babies he wants his mom! The illustrations by Stephen Michael King capture the warmth between a mama and her baby beautifully . My son has the “Mama” scream perfected and quite enjoyed seeing the little piglet do the same thing for her mama. We had a nice chat after reading this about separation, something we have been struggling with for a while. Before nap today I reminded my son that just like piglet his mama will come get him when he wakes up. Even if separation anxiety isn’t something you are dealing with at your house this is a sweet book.
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.