Your curious kiddo is pretty much into everything. And with the weather growing warmer, you’re looking for some spring sensory play ideas. Whether it’s rainy, chilly or your child just needs some time to relax, this tissue paper flower activity engages the senses and offers plenty of ways to play!
Obviously, the outside world provides an awesome array of imaginative opportunities. What child doesn’t enjoy digging in the dirt or rolling in the fresh grass?. But, sometimes you also need an inside activity too.
Your creative kid can make her very own flower garden all year round – no growing needed. While a crafty paper garden doesn’t smell likely blooming roses (we can show you how to fix that in a bit), it’s packed with plenty of sensory play opportunities. Let’s start with the sense of touch. The primary material for this kids’ activity is tissue paper. Your child is going to make teeny tiny faux flowers out of it.
There are several sensory experiences here. First, your child will tear the paper – experiencing the feeling of it rip in her hands. Then, she’ll bunch and crunch it. After the garden is done she can continue to use it, running her hands across it to feel the textures.
Materials to Make Tissue Paper Flower Garden
Your child will need:
- Cardboard (reuse the side of an old box)
- Tissue paper (in a rainbow of colors)
- Clear-drying school glue
Steps to make Tissue Paper Flower Garden
Cut the cardboard into a square or a rectangle. Put the scissors away. Your child will use her hands for the rest of the activity.
Tear the tissue into pieces. Ask your child how the tissue feels in her hands and what noises she’s hearing.
Pour a generous dollop of glue on the cardboard. Spread the glue out. Forget about using a brush or any other tool. This is another chance for sensory play! Your child can finger paint the glue across the cardboard. Make sure that she doesn’t lick her fingers or put any of the glue in or near her mouth.
Crunch and scrunch the tissue up, making little mock flowers. Press them into the glue, covering the board completely. Challenge a child to try to use different colors to make it more colorful.
Let the glue dry completely.
Now it’s time for even more sensory play. You child can run her hand over the tissue. Ask her to talk about the textures that she feels and the sounds the tissue is making. When she’s done playing, you can pack the flower board up and put it away. Or….
What can you do with a tissue paper flower garden?
How about adding a string and turning it into a lovely spring wall display? Another thing you can do is to glue the board to a construction paper folded in half and turning it into a lovely Mother’s day card to gift to mom, along with a homemade craft.
Senses We Used
Even though the sense of touch seems like the most obvious experience in this activity, don’t forget about some of the others that are engaged. What other senses is your child using? Listen as she rips, scrunches and pats the tissue. What do you and your child hear? Plenty! That’s right, your child is also using her sense of hearing.
Along with hearing, your child is taking in the vibrant colors and using her sense of sight. Ask her to describe what she sees and name the colors for you.
If you want to add in a ‘sense of smell’ part to this activity, try brushing a piece of lavender or another fragrant flower over the tissue. Go lightly with the scent, your child doesn’t need to be overwhelmed by it.
Keep in mind, this activity is NOT taste safe. This is one sense your child will not be using with it.
Read about Flowers to extend the play
Who has stripes? Is it the bee? Or is it the ladybug? Turn the wooden pieces to answer the questions in each scene. This book builds communication skills and supports fine motor coordination while introducing garden friends. Find turn & learn book In the garden by Redd Byrd here: United States | Canada | United Kingdom
Book about a child and mother planting a rainbow in their garden and watching it bloom. The illustrations are fantastic and vibrant in color! The book is very sturdy and well made and will clearly stand up to multiple readings per day. Find book Planting a rainbow by Lois Ehlert here: United States | Canada | United Kingdom
Other Flower Activities to try
Here are few ideas for your child:
- Choose between several different ways to play with flower garden play dough.
- Learn about flower life cycle with an easy to put together spring busy bag.
- Roll a dice and build a flower with free printable game.