Now that spring has finally sprung (we hope!) it’s the perfect time to begin Flower Arranging. In many of the Primary classrooms, Flower Arranging is a great addition to the Practical Life area. Like all Practical Life materials, this work follows a sequence and is not added to the classroom until the children have mastered a few specific skills such as carrying a tray, pouring with a pitcher, and using scissors.
As this activity adds beauty to the classroom, it also provides significant developmental benefits. Children use this work to build upon their concentration, coordination, independence, and sense of order. A child must be able to organize his/her thoughts and motor plan to complete the activity. During the initial presentation of the lesson, a student must remember roughly 15 steps to enable placement of the flowers around the room. Once the child has placed the flowers, there are an additional 7 steps to clean up. This type of work helps build and strengthen executive functioning skills needed in years to come for more lengthy and rigorous work.
Although this is typically a one-person work, the activity lends itself to many Grace and Courtesy opportunities. When deciding how to arrange the flowers, children will often converse with each other about where each flower should be placed in the vase as well as which shelf or table needs a bit of sprucing up! During these interactions the children are practicing vital pragmatic language skills.
This work also lends itself to the science curriculum, as students can learn the species of flower as well as each part of the flower. When children are able to dissect, label, and manipulate a flower, they come to understand the organism and its nomenclature.
Most importantly, this work helps children to feel ownership of their classroom. When children can admire their work daily by viewing it on a table or shelf, it builds pride and a sense of belonging that young children deeply appreciate.