Spring is in full bloom, and we cannot stop admiring all the beauty unfolding in front of our eyes. And discoveries lead to questions: "Where do flowers come from? How do flowers know when to bloom? How do they get their food? What is pollination?" And so forth.
As always, we find our answers in books. Eyewitness Plant book (top-right/buy here) features stunning real-life photographs of flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves, offering young readers a unique eyewitness view of the fascinating world of plants, including plant's anatomy and growth.
This amazing Plant book even comes with a Clip Art CD and a large comprehensive 22" x 30" wall chart.
Inspired by the Plant book's wall-chart, we are learning parts of the 🌸flower hands-on by making a plant using natural play dough and labeling it (download the labels here). I know there is nothing like a home-made play dough (see our recipe here), but when we found this one made from wheat flour and colored with all natural pigments, we had to give it a try! Adrian also got to practice his fine motor skills by tracing the parts of the flower labels. Download the "All About Plants" booklet by Montessori For Everyone here.
Adrian is learning parts of the flower by referencing a gorgeous book Nature Anatomy (buy all three books in a Collection: Farm Anatomy, Nature Anatomy, and Food Anatomy here). We simply fell in love with Julia Rothman's writing and illustration style. These three books are like mini-encyclopedias, which your little one (and big ones) would love!
We also decided to compare the anatomy of a regular flower with that of an orchid. First, Julia drew parts of the flower inspired by Nature Anatomy book. A trick I told my children to remember stamen vs stigma is that Mama is in the middle "stigMA" and the male part surrounds it "staMEN."
To learn about orchids, we are referring to Eyewitness Plant book which features stunning real-life photographs of flowers, fruits, seeds, and leaves, offering young readers a unique eyewitness view of the fascinating world of plants.
For more on orchids, see here 💦Caring for 🌺Orchids at 3 Yo • Montessori 🙌🏻Practical Life Activity • Care of the 🌐Environment.
After having explored the parts of the flower with Nature Anatomy book, we went out to our yard and dug some Dafdaffodils which had finished blooming already. We then talked about the parts of the plant: such as roots, stem, leaves and a flower. We also inspected the bulb and its parts. Adrian was amazed to find out a large-cupped bulb, similar to a garlic bulb, consisting of many smaller cloves, capable of producing many stems per bulb, and, depending on the bulb's energy reserves, each stem has the potential to grow a flower! And, we found out that we can divide daffodil's bulb ~ the best time being when the foliage has begun to die back (such feeds the bulb and will ensure healthy bulbs with plenty of stored sugar for the next season’s growth). Read more here. And so we did. We separated ones that pulled off easy and planted them right away.
We are also loving Flowers (My First Discoveries) book (bottom-right/buy here), where beautiful transparent overlay pages reveal how buds blossom and flower into fruit, how sunflowers turn to face the sun, and how bees and butterflies settle on spring flowers.
Dandelion: from a bud ~ to a flower ~ to a seed.
Flowers book offers bright illustrations and prompts you to get outside and learn hands-on. So, Adrian gathered Dandelions during our nature walks and arranged them in a lifecycle of the plant.
There must be [a] provision for the child to have contact with nature, to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in it… so that the child may better understand and participate in the marvelous things which civilization creates. ~ The Secret of Childhood, Dr. Maria Montessori.
In Flowers book, detailed and instructive illustrations, together with clear and simple texts, hold children’s attention, whilst the overlays on the transparent pages reveal hidden surprises and facilitate understanding. Here, the book's instructions prompted to press a flower between the sheets, and stick it onto book's page once dried. Julia wanted to draw the flower first.
Inspired by Flowers book, we also explored hands-on edible flowers like saffron, chamomile, and capers.
A Closer Look At A Seed
A Seed is Sleepy book is a gorgeous book from an award-winning artist and author, offering children a beautiful and informative look at the intricate, complex, and often surprising world of seeds.
To make learning hands-on, we are replicating the cycle of the bean seed (buy Cycle of the Green Bean Plant here) using air-play dough which is absolutely amazing! The play dough is non-toxic, eco-friendly, brightly-colored, and is very soft and smooth. It does not stick to your hands and is super stretchy. When the air-dough dries and hardens, the clay stays lightweight, and the magic takes 24 hours to fully harden. (Although note, that within five -minutes of being exposed to air, it will become smooth and non-sticky, so you have to be swift in making your creations! Always store the air-play-dough in an airtight ziplock or it will sry out.)
"A seed is generous: it gives the baby plant, or embryo, a seed coat to keep it warm."
See here Seeds to Plants Matching Activity, referring to the same amazing book.
What flower or plant books are you reading? See here our Spring Activities roundup in a post "🌸Spring 🌱Inspired Themed Unit Study."
DIY Seeds and Grain Storage
Are you tired of constantly buying trays and storage boxes! Well, egg- cartons are just awesome for storing and sorting small objects. Here, I have labeled different seeds and grains to study its nutrient and vitamin value. For more DIYs, see here ✂️DIY, Crafts & Materials.
Read here a post "Learning about ❄️🌸🌳🍂Seasons" where we were exploring nature's cycle.
For more on leaves identification, read a post "Learning About 🍃 Leaves (Botany Lesson)" here.