I know that the weather has been crazy and it seems like mother nature can’t make up her mind here lately but it is March and that means that it is getting closer and closer to springtime! That makes me very happy. I can’t wait till the warm weather comes to stay. On March 12th, its National Plant a Flower Day. This day was established to show the beginning of Spring and gives people something to look forward to when planting flowers.
This can also be such an exciting time for preschool and toddler classrooms. There is so much children can learn from the weather changing and seeing so many things begin to come to life. Between the weather changing to new baby animals to flowers and trees blooming. The world of colors come about and make our environment so much more inviting.
The National Plant a Flower Day can be a great learning experience that can go beyond just one day in a classroom. You can learn about the 400,000 different species of flowers, the parts of a flower, pollination, the different environments that flowers live in, the weather needed to keep them growing, and ways to take care of our flowers. There can be math games, science experiments and games, exploration of the environments, color matching, and so much more than we could teach our children.
The best way to celebrate is to of course plant a flower or perhaps many flowers. March may not be the best time of year to plant flowers depending on where you live, but flowers can always be grown inside until the weather gets better and then transplanted to outside. This can also be a great time to take the children outside and explain how nature works, what helps plants grow and why we need then and how to protect them.
There are several concepts that are great to teach during this time of year:
• Parts of the flower
• Flower life cycle
• Seeds pollination
• Tress that flower
• Food that starts as flowers
• Colors, shapes, and counting when using parts of the flower
With all of these different types of concepts to teach there are many great activities to do with your children during the week or even month of National Plant a Flower Day. The following are just a few that could help you on your journey of teaching about the beauty of flowers.
1. Fresh Flower Discovery Bottles or Centers
Put fresh flowers in a discovery bottle or put out a cookie tray full of different types of fresh flowers. I wouldn’t cut the stems unless they have thorns on them, but the children need to see the whole part of the flower. Leave this as a discovery center with magnifying glasses so that children can explore the different parts of a flower.
2. Gift Bow Flower Painting
I don’t know if your mother does this, but she always saves present bows every year for Christmas. I thought that she was crazy for doing this. But I have found other great ways of utilizing those bows. Letting the children paint with them is excellent and makes beautiful flowers. Allow the children to dip the flowers in the paint and use as stamps. Then let them draw their stems to create a garden of flowers.
3. Flower Garden
Cut different size shapes in different colors and allow the children to make their flowers by gluing them to their paper in the shape of a flower. While they are gluing them, you can talk about the different shapes and colors that they are using for the pedals of the flower.
4. Garden Sensory Bin
Take a plastic tub and fill with dirt, pebbles, silk flowers, and some garden tools to allow the children to explore. This is an excellent activity for children of all ages. Definitely make sure that you cover the area that you will enable them to do this in and you may want to cover the children as well, but this is a great learning activity for the children.
5. Seed Bags
Take different types of seeds and place them in a plastic bag with the original packaging. Put magnifying glasses with the bags and allow the children to explore the seeds.
6. Pollen Transfer
Take yellow pompoms and lay them on a paper flower. Take seven small plastic cups and glue them together to make them look like a honeycomb. With a set of tongs allow the children to put the yellow pompoms in the cups and talk about how this is what happens when the birds and bees pollinate flowers.
There are many great books out there about pollination and flowers that children can get great information from. Growing with Science website is an easy way to find what you need when it comes to books about science. This website has a lot of great ideas on books that would be an excellent resource for teachers.