Tuesday, 17 July 2012

10 Activities Exploring Garden Flowers

Sometimes the best play prompts are the natural ones in your backyard! Here are 10 simple activities which offer opportunities to explore natural flowers, & encourage discovery, learning & creativity.

1. Flower Arranging
Minnie first explored this set up when she was two years old. I set out 4 jam jars, 1 large jug of water, & a few mini sunflowers & sweet peas from our garden for her to discover.

She independently arranged & rearranged the flowers, poured the water from container to container,  & was completely absorbed in this activity. She was able to predict & adapt as she positioned the flowers & transferred the water, & able to explore size, shape, colour & scent.

2. Go on a Flower Bug Hunt
How many bugs / minibeasts can be found hiding around the flowers in your garden? Which plants do they prefer? Which minibeasts are in the flowers, & why do you think they're there? How about using our bug spotter sticks to mark where you found them.

3. Garden Tea Rooms
Add a few flowers from your garden to a tea set & you have your own garden tea rooms/kitchen, ideal for concocting recipes with natural ingredients.

4. Flower Play Dough
We added lavender to a batch of homemade play dough, but you could use any flowers. Check out Nurturestore's beautiful garden play dough.

5. Flower Head Finds
Collect flower heads & add them to vase of water. A perfect activity for toddlers who sometimes forget to pick flower stems, & a great way to use wind beaten flowers. This alternative flower display may also attract some wildlife too, like our mini snail!

6. Grow your own flower salad.
A number of garden flowers can be added to salads to create a tasty colourful dish.
We've used:
Chive blossom
Garlic blossom
Runner bean flowers
Pansy petals
Calendula/marigold petals
Cornflower petals
Rose petals
& there are many more that can be added. (Always check flowers are edible before sampling them!)

7. Create a magic Nature Wand
Collect favourite flowers, leaves & nature finds & make your own nature wand.

8. Create your own natural dye from Sunflowers.

9. Make your own confetti

10. Design a nature hanging using fresh flowers

These activities not only encourage much play & learning, but offer an opportunity to explore nature both indoors & outside, so whatever the weather you can enjoy exploring fresh flowers from you garden.

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