This post is about the fact flowers give us beauty and thoughts for children. Stop and smell the flowers with the children sometime this summer. Look around and ask them what they notice and observe. In a book called To Educate the Human Potential by Dr. Montessori she says, “Let us give the child a vision of the whole universe…for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.” Noticing flowers everywhere and helping children form connections between seeds, new plant growth, wild/cultivated flowers, dried flowers, and how they can help stop erosion. Children sometimes have isolated ideas and thoughts.plant life cycles, so we can help them see a more complete pictures by asking questions and letting them help us in the garden. This post is inspired by several lessons in the KHT Montessori year long class I am taking (non-affiliate, non-sponsored). Our teacher is Karen H. Tyler who developed the manuals and course. Next is the PDF I used for this blog post.
Flowers are everywhere! These are wildflowers growing by the side of the road.
Lovely lupines grow in ditches near the road in northern Minnesota. They are, however, invasive and non-native.
Potted plants from the greenhouse are pretty. Are the children able to tell the difference between such plants and wildflowers?
Even after flowers fade and dry, they can give us beauty by becoming potpourri. Children can help cut up dried flowers and make nice smelling accents for the house.
And of course, flowers give us more flowers as they give us seeds. The purple flower below is from the end of season lupine. The green pea-pod looking part has the seeds. They may be opened for children to see the seeds. Lupines are wildflowers so the seeds do not do grow where you might want, as they grow where they want (where the seeds fell). One year at school I put the green stems inside plastic bags and tied them shut. Over the winter the pods dried in the bags in the cupboard. In the spring we opened the bag and found the seeds had popped out. This was good because the seeds are very difficult to remove if done too early. The children grew the seeds in cups. This plant has an extensive root system and is not to be planted over septic systems!
Flowers can live in difficult conditions, even between cracks in the sidewalk. Have the children notice this before? These plants are helping the soil to remain in place so there is less erosion.
Plant Clippings are Valuable for Observation
Sort some plant clippings and discuss the difference between plants, rocks, and animals. A local greenhouse provided the clippings for use to use.
Take the opportunity to observe plant cuttings in the summer. Don’t just toss the clippings. Let the children help as they find this interesting and curious.
While the flowers are available, this is a good time to teach children that flowers have scientific names as well as common names. They will enjoy learning the big words!
We also discussed how flowers and plants hold the soil in place. First we made a very shallow river with Safari Ltd. (non-affiliate, non-sponsored, I bought them myself) realistic river figurines, water, and rocks.
Then we were the wind and blew loose soil from a paper plate over the river. This showed one way erosion can happen. Who wants dirty water? Flowers and plants can help hold the soil in place.