FOLLOW

Outdoor Classroom: For The Love of Flowers & Little Children!

IF YOU'RE READING THIS BLOG YOU PROBABLY LOVE CHILDREN AND YOU PROBABLY KNOW HOW MUCH CHILDREN LOVE FLOWERS!

All photos in this post were taken by Carolyn at Magical Movement Company

Even the tiniest child will reach out to touch a flower. We adults spend some amount of time re-directing children who want to pick every flower in sight. Personally, I think little children and flowers just naturally go together! 

In the children's garden, flowers are always a favorite and growing flowers is very satisfying for the little ones. I love growing flowers because they really attract the beloved insects that are yet another favorite of little children! If you put in flowers that butterflies love, you will have butterflies for sure. And, who doesn't love butterflies!?


African Daisies are a favorite of butterflies. Also, milkweed, dill and anise are important plants for butterfly egg-laying.
You can learn more about butterfly habitats at this link: Facts About Butterflies.net

It's a great idea to plant some fast growing flowers in the children's garden so that there will be an area where flower picking is allowed. Set up a garden bucket for gathering! I've attached a hook for this one so that the scissors can be hooked onto the bucket when it is being carried. Very "Montessori" since the child learns how to fasten & unfasten the hook and there's a place for storing the scissors.


Children must be closely supervised at all times when using scissors.

After the children have cut and gathered some flowers, they can make potpourri! Tea roses are GREAT for this activity, since they are so fragrant, so abundant, and their thorns are really tiny. (but can still poke little fingers...)



A really fun Montessori-style extension for indoors is this "Flower Salad Mixing" Activity with silk flower petals from the hobby store, some pretty salad spoons, and a big salad bowl!


If you are lucky enough to have a lemon tree in your children's garden, then everyone gets to smell the beautiful lemon flowers. You just have to make sure the children know not to pick these flowers, otherwise there won't be any lemons!



Our 5 & 6 yr olds like to cut up the lemons from the garden to serve with our mint tea. The mint comes from our garden too!


Children must be closely supervised at all times when using a knife to cut the lemons.

Preparing mint from the garden to make mint tea is a very important Montessori-style activity since it requires first drying the mint (in a mesh bag from the health food store) and then crushing the leaves with a mortar and pestle. Lots of skills to practice!



Having a lovely outdoor tea party adds yet another layer to enjoying beautiful smells & tastes from the children's garden. Serving tea is a wonderful traditional Montessori activity with ceramic child-size cups and teapot. And, don't forget to add the fun (and very important) wash-up of the tea cups with a dishwashing set-up. This is a great outdoor water activity that children really love!





Your group might enjoy a little teddy bear picnic as well!


I am so happy that you have had a chance to read this post. As you can see from my photo, I am a big flower-lover myself! That bio photo of me was taken on my 61st birthday by my colleagues at the Montessori School where I was the Site Director. My co-teacher had a daisy for every child in the school (!) and each one sweetly brought their flower to me and wished me a happy birthday. Just about the best birthday ever!


Image dowloaded from http://shabbyblogs.com

I downloaded this darling image from a site I just discovered, Shabby Blogs.com. I fell in love immediately and everything at this awesome site is free to us bloggers!

Comments are greatly appreciated; just scroll down to the comment section. I'd love to hear your thoughts!



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