When we use concrete materials to help kids practice math, they are more likely to understand the concept. In the spring kids are often out and about collecting or admiring flowers, so we decided to use some fresh flowers in this hands on addition activity. It’s great for kids in preschool and kindergarten.
All you’ll need to try this with your kids are some flowers, a pencil, and our free printable recording sheet. I wanted to focus on different ways to make the same number, so I chose one bunch of all the same kind of flowers. Each flower in our bunch has six petals, so we practiced finding different combinations that make six.
If you want to provide more variety, you can either choose a bouquet of different kinds of flowers or just remove a petal or two here and there from the bunch you have before giving it to the kids for this activity. Just be sure whatever kind of flowers you choose has few enough petals that the addition won’t be beyond your kids’ current skill level.
To do the activity we chose to pull the petals off the flowers (we planned to use them for other projects after this math activity). For the first number, Lovey pinched a couple of petals and pulled. She wrote this number as the first addend. Then she pulled the remaining petals off and wrote that number as the second addend. To find the sum, she grouped the two sets together and then wrote the number six.
She enjoyed feeling the texture of the flower petals and observing the differences between the petals. I loved the combination of sensory experience and math practice.
After you’ve practice addition, save those flower petals and you can make a full day of play and learning with flowers. Next week we’ll be sharing more math and art activities we’ve been doing with fresh flowers. For now, check out some of the ones we’ve tried in the past…
More Fun with Fresh Flowers
And don’t forget to read some great books about flowers.