it’s winter here in melbourne, so our garden is not at it’s brightest. arty and i love to go out in the yard to pick a little handful of whatever’s blooming, but right now there’s really not a lot to harvest.

so today i decided that we would take things (literally) into our own hands, and make some blossoms to brighten the house as we approach the shortest day of the year.

a paper flower bouquet

what you’ll need

coloured paper
a greylead pencil
assorted buttons
pipe cleaners
a single hole punch

what to do

  • before sitting down to start the activity with your child, use your pencil to draw flower shapes onto your coloured paper, cut them out, then use your hole punch to make a hole roughly in the centre of each flower (if your child is competent with scissors, you should obviously involve them in this step too, but at 2.5, arty’s not yet up to that, so i just cut out a bunch while he was napping, and had them ready to go for afternoon crafting).
  • now with your child, take a pipe cleaner, and help them thread a small button onto the end of it, roughly 1.5cm from the top.
  • then thread one of the paper flowers onto the pipe cleaner (children who are only just beginning to develop their fine motor skills will find this step easiest, so it’s the best step at which to introduce them to the activity).
  • choose a bigger button, and thread it on top of the petals.
  • bend the end of the pipe cleaner over, and carefully poke it through one of the other holes of the button.
  • repeat until your kid’s had enough, or you run out of pipe cleaners!
this activity is great for:
  • fine motor development – arty found threading the paper onto the pipe cleaner a little tricky at first, but by the time we’d been at it for a few minutes he was poking the pipe cleaners through the much smaller holes in the buttons with relative ease.
  • concentration – this requires a bit of focussed attention, which is always good for toddlers to practise!
  • learning about colour – we talked a lot about colour while we did this. sometimes it’d be as simple as him asking for a yellow button, but other times we would have discussions about which colour button would go better with a particular colour of petal. it’s definitely helpful for consolidating a toddler’s understanding of colours.
  • giving – by the end of this activity you’ve got a beautiful bunch of flowers that you’ve made together. at least some of them will be going to school with sj tomorrow to brighten up her desk.