While we love studying botany, sometimes it can just be fun to play with flowers.
Here are the top seven ways we’ve enjoyed playing with flowers while exploring botany for kids.
There are so many more than seven ways to play with flowers — but here are seven easy and frugal ways to play with leftover flowers:
Flower Sensory Bin
I used a base of dyed yellow barley for the “pollen” and had the children pluck the petals from some flowers that were nearing their end and delicately placed them around the barley. We also stripped the leaves from the flower stems and framed the sensory bin with this.
We explored the bin with funnels and measuring cups for the barley, tweezers and magnifying glasses for the petals and leaves. The contrast of textures and the reimagining of different materials to make a “giant flower” sensory bin were my favourite aspects of this sensory bin.
Flowers on the Light Table
This exploration was done with laminated pictures of flowers, but you can also laminate real flowers and explore them on a light table. I wrote last week on why we switched to a real light table, but a DIY light table is a great way to start and assess if your children will like this form of sensory play.
A great way to learn the parts of a flower, we really enjoyed our flower dissection, which included gently taking a flower apart, attaching it to canvas, and labeling it. It’s especially a good option for hands-on learners, or if you’re adverse to animal dissections with older kids.
Painting with Flowers
A great art activity for kids if you have wilting flowers or ornate leaves, painting with flowers is a great process art activity and sensory activity for kids all in one! Ella felt really privileged to be allowed to paint with flowers, and it produced some really fun textured art work.
Garden Clean Mud
While we used artificial flowers for our garden clean mud sensory bin, you could easily use real flowers! Clean mud uses simple household ingredients you likely already have on hand — toilet paper and bar soap.
Or, you could do some simple flower arranging without the mud.
Make Your Own Perfume
We chose to make our own food-grade perfume with food extracts and flavourings, but you could easily add some flower petals and grassing trimmings to water to distill your own flower-based homemade perfume.
Since we’ve already learned how to grind spices with a mortar and pestle, I would probably encourage the kids to mash up the flower petals with a bit of water to help the perfume-making process along.
Flower Conjunction Game
We made this simple printable flower conjunction game to help children explore and understand how to use the conjunctions “and,” “or,” and “with.” Flowers could be interchanged with any object of interest for your child.
What is your favourite way to play with flowers?