Flower Printing

Painting activities for kids and toddlers
Today I was about to put some old flowers from a vase into the bin as they were no longer looking their best.  As I was doing this I thought that it was shame that some of the flowers were not quite ready for the bin and others were wilting and brown, so I decided to use the daisies which still had a bit of life in them and create this painting play opportunity for my girls. 
The Flower Printing activity was so quick and easy to set up and also allows for kids of all ages to complete as it is open-ended.  It allows for different levels of ability and I have here my 7, 5 and 3 year old all enjoying this creative play opportunity.
What you will need?
Painting activities for kids
An invitation to play – We set up our activity table with coloured paint in a pallet and placed the daisies face down into the paint with the stem facing upwards.  The stem made a great handle to hold the daisies when printing.
Let’s Play
Flower Printing
This activity allows kids the freedom to explore their creativity and imagination.  Exploring the patterns the flowers transferred onto the paper, mixing coloured paint together and creating shapes and pictures with no restrictions or expectations.
There was lots of printing, swishing, dragging and twirling the daisies flowers covered in paint over the paper.
Flower Printing 4
The learning benefits of this activity:
  • Self-expression with paint
  • Eye and hand coordination
  • Fine motor development
  • Experimenting and exploring with a new paint tool
  • Sense of achievement and pride
  • Colour recognition
Puffy Paint Recipe
For more Paint Play Ideas click <HERE>
Learning 4 kids

Planting a Garden

Imaginative Play - Planting a Garden
Imaginative play would have to be one of my most favourite kinds of play.  I love how children can freely explore an imaginary world and benefit so much from it. 
We have been spending a fair bit of time in our garden with the beautiful warm summery weather.  As a follow on activity to our Spring Play Dough and to re-enact our time spent in the garden I thought I would set up this invitation to play imaginatively, Planting a Garden.
My girls spent hours planting, re-planting, weeding, sprinkling seeds and watering their imaginative play garden.
You can find out more about what imaginative play is and how to encourage it with kids by following the link: What is Imaginative Play and How to Encourage it?
What you will need?
Planting a Garden 2
We have re-used our Fake Flowers from our Create a Scented Spring Play Dough Garden Activity and the Styrofoam is recycled from a cardboard box from a parcel we received.
Planting a Garden 3
To create an imaginative play garden, you press the firm wire stems from the fake flowers into the Styrofoam.  Miss 2 had no trouble pressing them into the Styrofoam but if this is of a concern, you can always pre-make some holes for your child to place the flower stems into. 
This activity is such a wonderful way to also practice those fine motor skills!
For older kids, such as my Miss 5 and 6, they created flower garden patterns, alternating certain flowers to create patterns of colours and flower types.
Planting a Garden 4
Miss 2 pretending to water her garden that she created with the Styrofoam and fake flowers.  She was also making swishing sounds to go with the watering, priceless!
Planting a Garden 5
The magic of imaginative play….. Miss 2 sprinkling her garden with flower seeds from a small container and Miss 5 watering them into the ground.
Learning Benefits of Imaginative Play:
  • It provides opportunities for children to identify with the adult world.  Practise and role play their understanding and interpretation.
  • Develop social skills: practising negotiation skills, turn taking and sharing. Provides opportunities for working out problems and experimenting with solutions.
  • Emotional development: Understanding and expressing their feelings through the re-enactment of certain experiences.  Taking on roles that encourage discipline and empathy.
  • Encourages imagination: Children can be anyone and do anything in the pretend world.
  • Develop language skills: practising listening, looking and talking.  Being spoken to and talking with other people, also developing an understanding of what is being communicated through body language such as smiles and nodding.
  • I also believe that imaginative play is a great way for children to relax and unwind from their busy lives.
More Imaginative Play:
Learning 4 kids

Create a Spring Play Dough Garden

Create a Spring Play Dough Garden
Here is a great spring theme activity for the kids, creating a Spring Play Dough Garden.  The play dough has been scented with a herbal shampoo to smell like flowers and is textured with small coloured flower petals. 
It is a great activity for kids to explore their creativity and imagination as they create their very own spring garden.
You will need:
We set up an invitation to play on our activity table with egg cartons, artificial flowers and a ball of Scented Spring Play Dough.  To make this play dough you will find the recipe and instructions here.
The activity has been set up in an unstructured way to allow Miss 2 to create freely and how ever she likes with the materials provided.  There are a number of ways Miss 2 played with the play dough, here she is creating a garden using the egg cartons.  The egg cartons remind me of seedling pots.
Thinking outside the box and creating a spring garden using a large ball of play dough that has been moulded and squished into shape.
The play dough and materials had been left out for a few days and my kids continually returned to the play table to create and explore.  I love how each time they created different things. Utilising the plastic bowls that was used to store the flowers in, Miss 4 turned them into a flower pot plant.
Benefits of playing with play dough:
  • Spatial awareness – experimenting with shape and space
  • Creative Thinking and concentration skills
  • Oral language development – practising and experimenting with new words
  • Building up their fine motor skills and  coordination
  • Encourages imagination and creativity
  • Self-expression
  • Eye and hand coordination
  • Problem solving
  • Social interactions
Sensory Play with Spring Play Dough 1
My most favourite part of this activity was watching Miss 2 just squeeze, squish and feel the wonderful texture of the spring play dough.  The shampoo we added to the ingredients made the play dough feel really soft and smooth to touch.  The flecks of the flower petals made the play dough so much more interesting as Miss 2 explored each piece as she found them.  This is such a lovely play dough and it smells absolutely gorgeous, adding to the sensory experience!  You must try this!!
You will find our Scented Spring Play Dough Recipe here
 Learning 4 kids

Scented Spring Play Dough Recipe

Scented Spring Play Dough has a beautiful smelling fragrance of flowers and flecks of coloured flower petals to bring together some of the wonderful elements of spring time. 
The play dough has been scented with shampoo that has a hint of flowers essence which also gives the play dough a soft and smooth texture.  The coloured flower petals create a wonderful texture to heighten the sensory element of playing with play dough. 
*Please note that this play dough cannot be eaten as it contains soap*
You will need?
1 cup plain flour
2 Tablespoons oil
200ml Water
50ml Shampoo (we used Herbal Essence for the scent of flowers)
½ cup salt
2 Teaspoons cream of tartar
¼ cup Flowers Petals
How to make it?
  • Pour all dry ingredients, flour, salt and cream of tartar together in a saucepan.
  • Add oil, shampoo and water to dry ingredients.
  • I use a whisk before heating as I find this helps remove lumps and blends the ingredients well.
  • Cook over medium heat constantly stirring until it becomes a thick blob.
  • Then turn out onto a clean surface and knead into a smooth ball. Be careful the play dough will be very hot!
  • Allow the play dough to cool before playing kneading in the flower petals.
  • Store in a plastic zip lock bag or air tight container.
To download and print this recipe click here: Printable Scented Spring Play Dough Recipe
Play ideas using the Scented Spring Play DoughCreate a Spring Play Dough Garden 
Learning 4 kids
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