These fun learning activities using real flowers provide opportunities for fine motor development, STEM skills, and sensory play.
Outdoor Learning Activities
Spring is around the corner and my kids are itching to get outside (and me too).
Along with a healthy dose of free play, I hope to base a lot of my activities for the season to be centered around the outdoor world.
There are so many benefits to conducting play and learning activities outside. There’s the natural interest children have for the outdoors which produces high engagement. There’s the calming effect nature has on all of us. Being in nature provides stress relief.
Best of all, nature provides us with a ton of free materials!
Today we’re going to discuss how to incorporate flowers into several learning activities. The beauty of flowers is magnetic to children. How often does your child pick a handful of flowers on a walk, only to leave them in a pile in your house?
These activities will allow your child to explore the flowers all while throwing in lots of math learning opportunities.
5 Learning Activities Using Real Flowers
Flower Activity #1: Picking Flowers on a Nature Walk
Take a walk with your child during late spring or summer and give them a mission to pick as many flowers as they can (obviously wildflowers, not from your neighbor’s gardens!). Be sure to bring a basket to collect the flowers.
As your child collects the flowers, discuss any striking attributes of the flowers (your child will probably naturally do this). Point out colours, shapes of petals, bigger and smaller flowers, etc. This is great for increasing a child’s vocabulary.
It’s also so easy to suit this to the level of any child. Toddlers might work on colour names, and big and small, Older children could work on the names of flower parts, or even bring along a plant guide and look up the different species’ names.
Flower Activity #2: Sorting Flowers
Once you’ve collected a bunch of flowers, sorting them is a fun activity to do with your child.
It seems simple, but sorting is an important first step in mathematical and scientific thinking. Flowers provide so many opportunities for sorting. You can sort by the variety of flower, the colour of the flower, the size of the flower, etc. You might count the petals on the flowers.
This is a perfect introduction to lots of science activities surrounding flowers and plants (you could learn about pollination, photosynthesis, growing your own flowers, ecosystems, the list goes on and on).
Flower Activity #3: Patterning with Flowers
Once you’ve sorted the flowers, making patterns with them is an easy and fun activity. This activity can be as structured or open-ended as you want. We did a simple AB pattern (this part of our activity was more adult-led), but the possibilities are endless.
To extend this activity, your child might make a mosaic with their flowers, or create a necklace with their flowers (think daisy chain).
Flower Activity #4: Cutting Flowers
We all know that fine motor skills are crucial to develop. But fine motor skills don’t just involve pencil and paper activities. Learning to cut is another important way to enhance fine motor development.
Cutting flowers (or leaves, grass, or just about any other natural material) is great fun for kids. Delicate flowers are perfect for children who don’t have great cutting skills. Even pulling off petals or ripping leaves enhances fine motor development if you don’t want your child using scissors yet.
Flower Activity #5: Sensory Play
Before all your flowers are completely destroyed, throw them in a fun sensory bin. Children love to add flowers to water. There’s lots of scientific experimenting to be had (do petals sink or float?).
For a structured sensory bin, add a plastic tea pot and teacup and perhaps a few drops of food colouring to the water to create a flower tea party. Or just let your kids loose and enjoy!
There are so many other flower activities you can do with your child, but those are some of my favorite no-prep flower activities for children.
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