Spring is almost here! Flowers are blooming and we are finally getting outside after a long, dark winter. What better way to welcome spring than with a wonderful “flower soup” free play?
Pick Anything Natural: We went out into the yard and picked all the flowers we could find. Most of them were weeds so who cares! It was a wonderful scene to see them plucking all the pedals apart and examining what they could use as “ingredients” for their creations. Not just the pedals but also the stems, leaves, stamen, and maybe some dirt that was left on there as well. This is also when we can talk about plant anatomy.
Bowls and Spoons: We put the beautiful items they collected in these lovely bowls along with some water. I gave them other bowls and various spoons. I find that kids love to play with what they see the adults in their lives using. I like to gather items from our kitchen as opposed to things in the pretend play kitchen. It makes them feel more grown up that I trust them with items our family kitchen.
Be Involved: I loved watching and “tasting” all the soups. After making our first batches my kids were so excited to find more things to mix into their soup, but they could not find any more flowers. As the facilitator of their adventures, I guided them to other items in the yard. We found ordinary grass as well as some wild onion grass, clovers, pine cones, and acorns. I had no idea what was in my front yard until we looked so carefully. If I didn’t get up and help them look then the “flower soup” playing might have been over. It’s so important to guide and lead the children in digging deeper than they would have on their own. Their concentration needs to be stretched and encouraged. We ended up playing, searching, and creating for over 2 hours! That’s a long time with one activity for 1-3-year-olds.
It turned into quite an exciting afternoon. My seven year old even came to join the fun. One of the best parts is that there is no cost and so little clean up with this activity! Hooray!!! These are my favorite activities. The ones where you have to scavenge and search for your playthings. And, I believe, it’s one of the most beneficial for the children to see how to be resourceful and creative with their play. They are followers so I encourage you today to be a good example of getting out there in your front yard and finding new exciting ways to play with what you have and utilize their wonderful imaginations!