Set up a beautiful invitation to examine and draw flowers as part of a nature focused art and science activity for kids!
I’m a strong believer in simplicity when it comes to playful learning activities as sometimes we over-look the most obvious ideas to offer for our kids to explore in favour of all the “bells and whistles” of Pinterest-projects.
Exploring nature is such a joy for young children as there’s so much to discover, even within the simplest of flowers set out on a tray with a magnifying glass and scissors!
Invitation to examine and draw flowers:
This little nature exploration prompt used some fading roses from our garden and some fresh lilies in a vase. We set them out on a wooden tray (an old storage container from a Melissa and Doug toy- these are great to save and re-use for invitations to play!) along with a magnifying glass and scissors.
They were free to pull the flowers apart, snip them with scissors, search inside the centres to find the seeds and examine everything closely.
The scissor snipping and petal tearing was a favourite and it proved to be a fun way to work on fine motor skills.
We talked about the parts of a plant and what each part did to help it grow and re-seed itself.
The older girls were really interested too and took a close look at the inside of the roses by dissecting more carefully along the stems, using scissors. They examined the seeds, stamen and pollen and we discussed bees and pollination too.
We then extended the set up to make it into an invitation to create, using a watercolour palette, natural coloured pencils and pigment pens. Always use the thickest, best quality drawing paper available for paint related art prompts as the quality will really reflect the results.
They each chose to draw and paint the lilies, first using the black pigment pen to sketch the basic shape, then washing over with the watercolours.
I absolutely love the way that you can see developmental stages through art as well as any other type of more “academic” learning. The following paintings were made by Miss 6, Miss 4 and Miss 7 (in clockwise rotation.)
I love the sketching and perspective in this one particularly and wish I could draw like a child sometimes!
There are so many ways you could extend this to scaffold the learning opportunities even further:
- Use non-fiction books about flowers and plants to identify the parts of the flower.
- Draw detailed diagrams of what they discover after directing and examining with a magnifying glass, labelling all parts using the scientific terminology.
- Make mini information books about flowers for other children to read and learn from!
- Try creating the flowers using a range of other media in both 2D and 3D formats, such as tissue paper, acrylic paints, paper mache and charcoal.
- Display the creations alongside the scientifically labelled diagrams and text for an informative and beautiful learning display!
What they are learning as they play:
Science: recognising, naming and labelling parts of a plant; simple dissection
Creative Arts: representing real life using mixed media, combining paint and pens, perspective, colour mixing, texture
Physical: fine motor skills, scissor control, tearing and ripping, small hand muscle strengthening
If you loved this then you will like our other NATURE PLAY ideas.
Here are 10 Natural Play Dough Recipes which smell AMAZING!
Check out our SCIENCE ACTIVITIES and our ART & CRAFT ideas too.
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Emma Lofthouse-Burch says
This is a lovely idea, I am definitely going to do this with my boys. A nice little science lesson too!
Leslie Ralph says
What a beautiful way to bring art and science together, Anna. You’re so right about drawing like a child. Their artwork is beautiful. I LOVE it!! We’ll be doing this ASAP. Thanks for the inspiration!
what a great idea – so simple! And the watercolours turned out fab too – love them!