I meant to write this post in March, but that didn’t happen. I love how colorful the pictures were, so this post might be more pictures than words, but I think pictures tell the story better. 🙂 We had our flower play about a week after Valentine’s Day. I compiled all of the dying roses that my sisters received from their boyfriends and took them in. Other than providing the tools, I left it all up to what the children wanted to do!
I started by giving each kiddo their tray, and passed flowers around. Some of the roses still had thorns near the top, so I tried to make them less thorny as I handed them out. As you will see from the pictures, we had a lot of roses (red and yellow), a bit of baby’s-breath, and miscellaneous greenery. Along with the flowers I added whisks, knives, and clear bowls. I wanted the focus to be on the flowers rather than all the neat tools we could use with them.
Other than mentioning how the flowers smelled, I didn’t tell them how to play. Everything they did was all child-directed! I love when my role is just to support and play with them rather than supervising. I feel like I was able to observe more and really be in the moment with them. As you can see in the picture above, they were tearing the petals off one by one on each flower.
I was so happy when the kiddos started tearing apart the flowers. I was hoping they would start to deconstruct them because it is really easy to pick all the petals off. Since it was our first invitation with flowers I wasn’t sure what to expect.
After deconstructing the flowers some cool themes came out in their play. Deconstructing is taking something apart. Sometimes you are able to build it again, in our case we aren’t able to. A lot of children like deconstruction play because they are able to see how something works.
We had friends sorting by color. Sorting is a great beginning math skill for children to learn. There are so many ways to sort: shape, color, size, type (animal/tree),etc. Sorting is everywhere, even as children put toys away. If toys have their own separate baskets, like toys should go with like toys. My dad always said “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Every toy should have a place so when you or a child needs it, you know where to find it!
Other friends were deconstructing even more by cutting the petals and breaking the stems. As we cut the petals the color would rub off onto the trays which was an exciting experience for us. Some kiddos really enjoyed cutting and ripping the petals while others enjoyed inspecting the stems.
We had friends making things like ice cream and birthday cakes. This has been a constant theme for the past few months. Anything we play with that uses cups or bowls is turned into ice cream or cake. We sing happy birthday quite often!
I remember in the middle of playing asking the kiddos if they would like to paint with the flowers. Some of the leaves we had would have made great natural paint brushes. But that would need to be an activity for a different day! Maybe next Valentine’s Day! 😉
If you are looking into doing a flower play activity with your group of kiddos and don’t want to spend major bucks on flowers there are a few different ways to acquire cheap or discounted flowers. Most flower shops will donate or discount the price of old flowers. Then you could get a batch of flowers once a month! Another option is to pick flowers out in nature. As long as they are pickable. I am not telling you to pick your neighbor’s flowers. Don’t do that. Pick wildflowers.
I enjoy writing posts on our invitations as they give me a chance to reflect on what the children’s play is telling me, what they are interested in, and how I can further their learnings of that topic. You can read all of my other Child-Led Play posts by clicking here.
Thank you for reading! Let me know in the comments how you use flowers to explore!
If you enjoyed this, check out these other bloggers!
The Repurposed Nanny – She has bits of everything from DIY, Lifestyle, Kids, Recipes, and Decor.
The Playful Learner – Words cannot express how much I love Amber’s blog. She sees childhood and learning just like I do! A time to play and explore through play. I urge you to check out her blog!
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