As summer winds down, I’m running out of backyard activities, and our water table only holds my toddlers attention so long. It’s hot, so I don’t feel like doing much more than sitting in the shade.
I had to come up with something this morning, and our blooming, slightly overgrown flower beds gave me a great idea. I gathered blooms from different flowers and a vase to create a floral sensory tray and craft! (As a bonus, we saw some honey bees while we were gathering flowers, and my toddler got to watch them gather pollen.)
After gathering our flowers, I displayed them each on the tray and let my toddler smell, touch, and explore each one. We had petunias, lavender, and blossoms from our butterfly bush.
I described the colors, textures, bloom size/shape, and scents to her. I noted that the lavender scent reminded me of her lotion and bath soap, because those are lavender scented items she uses frequently.
Next, I showed her how to remove some of the leaves and put the flowers in the vase. My toddler needed a break, so she mostly pulled the flowers I put in the vase out and whined, so we had to cut that part of the activity short.
Although my toddler wasn’t having any part of floral arranging today, I have presented a preschooler with this activity, and she loved it. Preschoolers can focus longer than a young toddler, so we used a few more types of flowers. Floral arranging made a great preschool craft as she practiced her cutting skills and dexterity. Plus, we got outside, she learned to identify some flowers, and experienced new fragrances.
Overall, I encourage parents and caregivers to set up their own floral sensory activity. It’s a great way to teach children about the world around them, let them experience new smells and textures, and provide a creative craft that they can display or give to someone.