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The Science of a Flower: Three Activities for Preschool

written by: Tracey Bleakley • edited by: Wendy Finn • updated: 6/6/2012

As April showers bring May flowers, plants and flowers are a great topic for preschool science. Flower activities will give preschoolers the chance to practice science skills like observing and sorting while learning about the important role of a flower.

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    Springtime is the perfect time to begin teaching preschool students about flowers and plants. Gather a variety of flowers and seeds and be prepared to watch your preschoolers' science skills blossom with these fun, hands-on flower activities.

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    The Reason for a Flower

    Everyone loves a flower for its bright colors and sweet smell, but flowers have a very important job, too. Teach your preschool students about the job of a flower with this activity. Read the book The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller to introduce students to the flower's job of making seeds.

    After reading and discussing the book, give the students seed packets of different types of flowers and hand lenses. Encourage them to observe the seeds with the lenses. Discuss the different types of flower seeds, their sizes, colors and other characteristics. Put the seeds and lenses in your science center along with paper, pencils and crayons so that they children can spend more time observing and drawing the seeds. Use the pictures from the seed packets for sorting activities in the center. They can sort the packets by flower color, petal shape, seed size, etc.

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    Many different types of animals and insects pollinate flowers. Introduce your preschool students to these pollinators and to the special features of certain flowers that attract them.

    • Bees - blue, purple or yellow flowers that have a sweet scent: lupines, rosemary

    • Butterflies - pink, yellow, orange or blue flowers with petals that form a wide landing pad: zinnias, butterfly bush, Mexican sunflowers

    • Moths - nocturnal pollinators, so flowers must be open at night: strong, sweet scented white flowers such as honeysuckle and primrose

    • Beetles - dull, reddish brown flowers with a spicy, rotting fruit scent: magnolias and spice bush

    • Birds - red or orange flowers with tubular blooms and no scent: salvia, red yucca and aloe

    • Bats - flowers that open at night: agave and saguaros

    Bring in pictures of the different types of pollinators and the flowers they prefer. If possible bring in some real flowers too, so that the children smell them as well. Look at other flowers and decide which animals might pollinate them. Let the children paint made up flowers and share what animals they think would pollinate them. You can even provide a floral scented perfume and let them spray their flowers with it to show that they are scented

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    What Flowers Need

    Use this simple experiment to teach your preschoolers about the things that flowers need to grow. Bring in four flowers to plant and grow in your classroom. Plant each flower in different conditions and then predict what will happens to each flower. Which will grow the best? The worst?

    Plant 1 - Plant in soil. Place in a sunny location and water regularly.

    Plant 2 - Plant in soil. Place in a sunny location, but do not water.

    Plant 3 - Plant in soil. Place in a dark location like a closet or cabinet and water regularly.

    Plant 4 - Plant in gravel. Place in a sunny location and water regularly.

    Look at the plants regularly and discuss what is happening and why. Talk about how flowers need water, light and soil to grow and what happens if they don't have them. Let the children draw pictures of their observations in their science notebooks or make a special plant observation notebook for each child to draw in.

    These preschool science flower activities will enhance your students' science skills and be a great addition to your preschool flower unit.

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    Pollinators and Their Preferred Flowers

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