10.02.2013

Flower Arranging with Children

My youngest daughter's Montessori kindergarten class began a new lesson this month - flower arranging. The lesson is part of the kids' practical life studies, intended to help children care for our environment and build concentration. When a note came home about it, requesting one child bring in a bouquet of fresh flowers each week, it prompted me to write this post, which has been floating around in the back of my mind for some time.
We grow a lot of flowers in our garden and yard, so there are nearly always fresh bouquets on our dining table, in the kitchen, and here and there about the house. My girls especially love to have small bouquets on their nightstands. The eldest likes to help pick and harvest the flowers, while my youngest really enjoys cutting and arranging them. It's a simple, sweet, and mindful activity to do with most any age child.

 

Try It!

Even if you don't have a garden, or native flowers growing in your yard, your family can enjoy this activity by picking up a fresh bouquet at the market (we also have a local farm that offers pick-your-own flowers, so check around). Here are a few steps to get you started:
 
  1. Invite your child (or children) to create a flower arrangement.
  2. Allow them to choose their own vase or vessel to hold the arrangement. Choices might include a repurposed bottle, a mason jar, a recycled tin can, or a glass or ceramic vase.  
  3. Provide a jug of water, or easy access to the tap, for filling their vase with water (about half full).
  4. Have your child choose flowers, one at a time, from a purchased bouquet, or harvested from your garden. Show them how to remove any leaves or foliage from the lower 3/4 of the stem, which will be submerged in water. {Just pinch them off gently with your fingers.}
  5. Direct your child to hold each flower up next to their vase to check the height; have them cut off the tip of the stem until it is the right height for their vase. {You may have to assist very young children with this step.}
  6. Encourage children to continue measuring, cutting, and arranging flowers until their bouquet looks the way they wish.
  7. Invite your child to display their arrangement wherever, and however, they like. {In my gal's classroom, the vases are placed on doilies. At home, we often tie a ribbon or fabric scrap around the neck of our vessel, usually a mason jar.} 

2 comments:

Unknown said...

Love the wonderful things you do! I need this tutorial for myself :-) but can't wait to try it with Olivia!

Anonymous said...

kerie
I have been a Montessori classroom aide for many years now. My favorite area in the room is practical life exercises. I really love flower arranging. Its a quiet and calming activity. I really like to watch boys arrange flowers. Mostly its the girls in the class who choose this but sometimes a boy will try it .When the do, they enjoy it too.It slows them down a bit.I don't work in a school now, so thank you for the memory.