Our exploration into plant life began in September and was sparked by a vase of fresh flowers in the room. Many of the children would comment regularly on those flowers. We embarked on an adventure, which began with flowers but naturally moved to seeds and leaves.
Our journey started with examining a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes of flowers. We touched them and smelled them and inspected them with our magnifying glasses. We tasted different edible flowers like the cauliflower and broccoli flower. A collage of all of the parts of a flower was created as we pulled them apart and glued them to our canvas. Works of art were generated as we used blossoms, petals, buds and leaves of different flowers to paint with. Different mediums and recyclables were utilized to create pictures and models of flowers. Discovering the magnolia blossoms and other flowers around the campus thrilled us with a sense of adventure.
When the gumballs and acorns began to fall from the trees on the playground, our exploration turned to seeds. We collected acorns and planted them in a type of terrarium which hang on our wet room windows. Our nature walks became a treasure hunt for a new kind of seed. The children examined the seeds under the magnifying glass and we talked about how different seeds are transported in different ways to different places by different means. Each new seed was added to our seed collage. Tasting some seeds from the pumpkin and sunflower expanded our tastes and helped us realize we like to try new things.
As the colorful leaves began to fall from the trees, our plant life journey turned toward exploring leaves. Playdough, chalk and aluminum foil are wonderful vehicles to create leaf impressions. We painted our brown leaves the beautiful fall colors of orange, yellow, and red and used them as leaf stamps. Toddlers discovered that scrunched leaves make a beautiful mosaic. We answered the questions, “Do leaves breathe?” and “Does water move through a leaf?” by conducting science experiments.
We recently discovered a pinecone in the pine straw and so our journey into plant life meanders onward. We have been searching for the seeds in the pine cones and observing how they float to the ground. What can we build with them? Do they float in water? Can they help us predict the weather? The curiosities of a two-year-old are never ending!