Whether you're a kid or a grownup, flowers are simply irresistible. But in the doldrums of winter, real ones can be hard to come by. Here's a classic first grade activity that'll let you have beautiful flowers this Valentine's Day. All you need are a few sheets of tissue paper and some pipe cleaners to get started. This activity will help boost your little one's fine motor skills, too!
What You Do:
- Cut the tissue paper into squares measuring roughly 5”x 5”. You may do this for your child, or even better, have him do it himself. When it comes to managing scissors well, practice makes perfect for kids!
- Take 4 squares, at least one of each color and two of whatever color your child most wants to dominate—and lay them on top of one another in one flat, square stack.
- Starting with the edge closest to him, have your child fold the stacked square into horizontal folds, every ¾ inch, like an accordion. He'll end up with a flat, long, rectangle with about 4 folds in it.
- Now it's time to add the stems! Take out one pipe cleaner, and fold the top 1”. Now hook it over the center of the long, flat rectangle of tissue, and wrap it tight. The tissue on each side will start to fan up—pull it up even more to make a rounded flower shape, very much like a carnation.
- Repeat this process twice more, and then wrap the three pipe cleaners into a twisted “stem.”
While giving small hands great developmental practice, you've made a sweet bouquet for all seasons—a delightful gift for a teacher, grandma, or any other special person in your child's life.
Julie Williams, MA Education, has been working in education for more than twenty years. For the last five years, she has worked in classrooms with primary-level students learning to read. She also taught English and History for seventeen years at Aragon High School in San Mateo, California. She is the mother of two young sons.