Activity 5: Flower Gifts
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Flowers and green stems or baby's breath
- Florist tape and corsage/boutonniere pins
- Cups or trays of water for children to share, masking tape, and adult scissors markers and crayons
- 8.5x11-inch paper, color markers or crayons, and heart and/or flower stickers
- Paper towels, moistened, trash bag with liner, and recycle bin and/or compost bin
Preparation for Activity
- If you prefer not to use real, cut flowers, consider having the children make flowers of coffee filters (blossoms) and pipe cleaners (stems). The website DLTK-Growing Together offers a detailed activity plan for coffee filter flowers that have a watercolor effect. Or, simply have children draw on coffee filters without wetting them. Another alternative is to have each child plant a seedling or cutting in a small clay pot as a gift for mother, father, or another caretaking adult.
- Calculate quantities and obtain supplies for corsages. Anticipate that each child will make one or two corsages; each corsage requires one flower and one or more stems of greenery or baby's breath. Florist tape (dark green, half-inch wide) and corsage/ boutonniere pins (large pins with a pearl topper) can be purchased at a dollar store, craft store, or flower shop or a grocery store with a floral department; see florist tape and corsage/boutonniere pins on Amazon.
- Obtain flowers. It may be cost effective to buy several bouquets to separate into individual stems.
- Snip all the stems to about 5-inch lengths and lay them on the activity table. Set out bowls of water.
- Create a sample corsage/boutonniere: Choose a flower and one or more greenery or baby's breath stems. Dip the stems in water to give them a final drink, and then wrap the stems together with the green, stretchy florist tape. The tape will stick to itself and hold the stems firmly.
- Set the corsage pins, masking tape, and black pen aside for co-leaders to use.
- Cut 12-inch lengths of florist tape and stick them to a table edge or other hard surface for the children to access.
- Set out paper, markers, crayons, stickers, etc. at another (dry) activity table for children who may wish to make cards.
Description of Activity
Children make a corsage or boutonniere for their mother, father, or other adult who loves and takes care of them.
Direct children's attention to the activity table where you have set the flowers. Invite them to look, smell, and gently touch. Say that flowers are like people, all different, all beautiful. Say these words, from a meditation by Buddhist author Thich Nhat Hanh:
You are a flower. You are fresh like a flower
Invite the children to make a flower corsage for a loved one. Show them the sample corsage you have made. Demonstrate how the person who receives their gift can poke a corsage pin through the bundle of florist tape and stems to attach the corsage to clothing.
Have the children choose a flower and a piece (or several) of greenery to make a little bouquet. Help them wrap the stems with the florist tape (which is self-sticking and very forgiving of uneven wrapping). Push the corsage pins into the stems and tape and cover the end with masking tape. Write the child's name on the masking tape on the pin.
Invite children to make another corsage if they have another person in mind, such as a grandparent or neighbor or another person in their family.
Encourage the children to help with clean-up. Give flower stems and remains to a family to compost.
As time allows, children may also wish to create cards for a mother, father, or another adult who loves and takes care of them. Invite children to tell you who their card is for. Offer to write their comments on the card, e.g. "This is for my mommy. I love you!"