I’m so excited to share this 2-part blog post called Beyond the Basics: Creative Thinking & Life Skill Activities! Do I think that either of these ideas are 100% unique? NO. But I haven’t seen much about them out there in the world of mom blogs and I think I am offering a fresh perspective on how to implement these with your kiddos. Part 1 featured here is more on the creative thinking side, Fun with Floral Arranging! It’s perfect for spring/summer outdoor activity! Part 2 will be coming soon for more of the life skills portion – Grocery Store Mania. It is perfect for a rainy or cold day…pretty much I’m sharing how to turn a room in your home into a grocery store they can go crazy in! But also learn in the process. Stay tuned…
WHY DO THESE ACTIVITIES? I’m not an educational expert so nothing I’m about to say here is research based…rather personal opinion based! I think that teaching our children how to think creatively and learn life skills is so important!! School based knowledge is crucial but if we don’t teach them about daily life skills OR allow them to be creative and think outside the box, they won’t be able to problem solve as well in my belief.
WHAT AGE CHILDREN WOULD ENJOY THESE ACTIVITIES? My girl is currently a little over 2 years old but I feel that these would work for kids even a little younger than her and possibly even be of interest to kids up to 4 or 5 years in age.
Let’s get started…Fun with Floral Arranging, here we go!
If you follow me in any way on social media or even just looking over my blog, you’ll see I love florals! They inspire so much of my design in my watercolor artwork – click here to view my ETSY shop of watercolor floral madness. I love arranging flowers and my momma does too and so did her mom! I come by it honestly. I can tell my lil one loves arranging things in general and she is just as obsessed with gardening and flowers as much as me. So I came up with this idea…to essentially create an outdoor flower market for her and let her go crazy. She wouldn’t need to be gentle with them like when we work with real flowers because I was going to get fake ones and she wouldn’t have me maybe suggesting or changing up what she does. Confession – I can be a slight control freak! But with this she would get full control and get to really use her sweet brain to create whatever her heart desires!
SUPPLIES NEEDED: All that you really need for this activity is some different size containers – tall, short, fat, skinny, etc. Give your child lots of options in terms of how they can envision and build an arrangement with different containers. And of course…LOTS OF FLOWERS…fake ones that is! I bought mine at a combination of Michael’s (during 50% off sale…I had a gift card), the Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart. Michael’s is more expensive but their flowers are higher quality in terms of “real factor” but for kids to play with…the Dollar Tree and Wal-Mart ones are really great and a super great bang for your buck!
I tried to find lots of different colors of flowers with shapes and sizes that varied as well. You will want to cut them all apart so you have lots of individual stems for them to work with!
HOW TO IMPLEMENT: Make it casual but intentional…I chose to do Autumn’s flower market outside. It just seemed more natural and fun. But don’t think on a rainy day we might not whip this activity out to brighten up the house! I wanted to spread out the containers on lots of surfaces that were on her level. Eventually she wanted to carry the containers full of flowers all to one table…very cute to see her mind working. Let them be free with it! This is a quick activity to set up too…cutting all the flower stems apart is the lengthiest portion – the time for actual set up is about 5 minutes tops!
I had one big basket with the flowers all mixed up and ready for her to dig in to. I put a few flowers in random containers before she walked out so she would get what I was getting at. Keep in mind, she is 2 years old so for older kids some of these things don’t apply as much.
For this first time doing the activity, I just let her go crazy!
Follow up ideas to change it up and keep things different, see the following adaptations:
(a) Arrange flowers from tall to small in different containers and see how they decide to work with them from there
(b) Arrange the flowers in color categories and write the color on the containers or have them identify each one. You could also test their color knowledge and suggest arranging a yellow, pink and purple arrangement and see what they do.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR TEACHING: As mentioned above, you can use the flowers to teach colors and sizes of objects and how they relate or balance each other. If you are doing this with much older children, you could even get into arrangements with complementary colors or lights and darks, etc.
Overall, make this a fun experience for your child and for you! Do it alongside them a little to keep it interactive. But mostly let them use their creative juices and think outside the box. It could be fun to make a Flower Market banner with their name on it or hang lights up and do it at dusk. I love doing special things for my lil one and she won’t be our only one for forever but even if you have more than one…these are the little things that still create such vivid sweet memories. And this last set of pictures is probably my favorite because I was trying so hard to get her to sit down amidst her flowers for me for one final picture…and let’s just say she wanted nothing to do with it. Then I said, “momma will give you a cookie if you do this for me” and viola! Look how well behaved she is now! LOL
I hope you enjoyed reading about this fun and easy activity fulled with color, creativity and imagination! Please share if you like using this social media friendly image below! And as always, stay around and look awhile. Lots more fun gems on the blog that I’d love for you to see.