With pretty colours, interesting shapes and lovely fragrances, kids – just like bees – are naturally drawn to flowers. These blooms can also serve as an introduction to the beauty of nature and the first step in your child’s appreciation of flora and fauna.
By teaching your kids about flowers and how to care for them, your little ones can also learn more about biology, art and other life lessons along the way.
Name and identify the flowers you see
While some flowers are a familiar sight, many Singaporeans are unable to name the common blooms.
Take time to point out the perennials around your neighbourhood, be it the brilliant pink bougainvillea, bright red hibiscus, shoe flowers or the fiery orange ixora. Celebrate the seasonal blooms too, such as the golden showers, flame of the forest and chrysanthemums.
Make frequent park visits and ‘green’ outings, to allow your child to see and smell the flowers. The Singapore Botanic Gardens and National Orchid Garden are two must-do stops to visit. Look out for workshops and tours for children on the gardens’ official website.
You can also make visits to the annual Singapore Garden Festival and the Sentosa Flower Festival for a visual feast of flowers.
Wet markets and supermarkets are also great places where you can find popular blossoms to brighten up your living room. You can also gaze at the more exotic blooms at the florists and landscape stores that line Thomson Road. Point out the classic favourites such as roses, lilies, ginger flowers, and more.
While you’re travelling, keep a look out for floral farms to visit with your children. For instance, you can visit the annual Chiang Mai Flower Festival in Thailand, to see more varieties of blooms from our region.
Read about flowers in poetry and books
Do borrow or buy books about the blossoms in Singapore. Read them out to your kids and point out the flowers you have seen together. Soon the children will be familiar with the names and shapes of flowers.
Teach the language of flowers to your children for a more nuanced understanding of these lovely blooms. Red roses for instance, speak of love and white lilies of purity.
When the little ones find out that a blossom picked from the garden can steal grandma’s heart, your children can learn to use flowers to share their love and show concern for others.
You can read classic poems and stories about flowers together too. As you allow your child to explore, experience and experiment with the world of flowers, create opportunities for expressions in words as well. Over time, this could inspire your kids to write creatively about flowers.
Care for a garden together with your children
Let your child have the pleasure of gardening. Plant a few shrubs with your child and watch them bloom together. Use the opportunity to teach your child what each type of flower needs to grow. These conditions include the daily dose of sunlight, the amount of water, the type and amount of fertiliser that each plant may need.
Give your child the opportunity to examine flowers at close quarters and even take them apart. Many classic science lessons are learnt this way. Remember how you learnt about sepals, petals, stamen, pistil and calyx on a flower? Recreate those learning opportunities for your little one.
Older kids will be fascinated to learn about the multiple uses of flowers for perfume, medicine and even food. A visit to the Science Centre’s section on botany will fascinate your child about the wonders of flowers and the role of flowers in the plant kingdom.
Get creative with flowers
Floral themes are great for art classes. Your little one can start with tracing the outlines of a flower. These can then be coloured with brilliant crayons and child-safe paints.
As your children grow older, they can progress to creating floral art with watercolours and oil paints.
You can also make natural paints with the pigments from flower petals. Do some research online on the best ways to make such eco-friendly and child-safe paints. Then experiment with how you can play with these homemade paints with your kids.
Paper and clay lend themselves to making beautiful floral craft projects. With these stationery and more kid-friendly tools, you can make floral cards, paper posies and garlands.