Looking to have fun with your preschooler while building basic math and science skills? Spring and summer blooming flowers provide the perfect opportunity for a fun activity. Read on to see how you can create easy sorting activities for young kids using flowers.
Flowers are the perfect object to use to practice categorization skills due to their abundance in the spring and summer. Your own garden, local parks, and wild habitats are the perfect spots to find flowers to sort.
Looking for more classification activities, check out 50 Classification Activities for Preschoolers.
If doing this activity in the winter months, flowers can be purchased at a local florist or grocery store. What better way to cheer up a dull winter's day than to observe brightly colored flowers.
Each activity has a lesson plan to guide you and your child. Lesson plans are easy to modify based on the flowers you find and the age of your child.
Different ways to do each activity are also described. These easy activities are the perfect way to practice new skills with your preschooler.
Why are Classification Activities Important for Preschoolers
By sorting and classifying objects, preschoolers are building basic math and science skills. Two of the foundational skills of math and science education are number sense and making observations.
While doing these fun activities, preschoolers will be gaining these important skills. According to the Common Core Math Standards, classifying objects into categories along with counting the number of items are important skills for kindergartners.
Using concrete objects such as flowers helps little learners fulfill their natural desire to explore the world around them. Early learners love applying new skills to items they see in everyday life.
Preschoolers and toddlers will practice those basic skills during these five lessons. Each lesson is great activity if you are looking to start introducing kids to the concept of classifying while exploring nature.
Observations can be recorded in a nature journal for an added science themed activity.
5 Flower Themed Sorting Lessons
- Sorting Flowers by Main Color
- Sorting Multi Colored Flowers
- Math Centers
- Sensory Bins / Baskets
- Flower Color Hunt
If you are looking to identify wildflowers while observing them check out this Identifying Wildflowers with a Toddler post.
Can Older Children Benefit from these Activities
Absolutely, each of these 5 classification activities can be modified to fit the age and need of specific children. Ideas for older children are provided with each activity. If you are doing these activities in a homeschool or multi-age setting, children of different ages can work alone or together.
These lessons would be perfect for kindergarten classroom or even early childhood classroom. Great things can be learned by conducting simple activities and practicing foundational skills.
I'm Homeschooling Can These Lessons Work For My Children
Yes, activities can be done in a small group setting, multi-age homeschool environment, or a traditional preschool classroom. If you have children of different ages, you can modify the lessons up or down.
Each lesson can be done independent of the other lessons. Pick and choose the ones that will fit the needs of your children or try them all out.
One of the benefits of classifying flowers is that as the growing season goes on, the types of flowers will change. If you do an activity in the spring, you can repeat it again in the summer for an entirely new experience.
- At least 6 flowers of different colors and sizes
- Basket or jar to collect and hold flowers
- Color Cards
- Flat Surface or sorting mats to lay out the flowers
- Free printable mat (optional) see below:
These supplies can be used for all of the 5 lesson plans below. Feel free to classify more than six flowers if you have more available in your area.
Color cards can be created by folding construction paper into small rectangles. Using color cards is optional, but a fun way to solidify color sorting.
When doing these classification activities indoors, flowers can be brought inside. If you are looking to create an even more meaningful experience, do these activities outside.
Young children love to go on a color hunt and pick flowers. By involving them in the picking process, they will be even more excited to do these fun activities.
1. Sorting Flowers By Main Color
For this activity, children will classify flowers based on their main color such as yellow, blue, purple, or white. Young learners love practicing color identification.
Using color words are an easy way to practice classifying objects into categories.
One way to do this activity is to ask your child or children what color is the flower. Children can pick one up and hold it in their little hands to get a closer look.
Toddlers will proudly exclaim the main color of a flower if you ask them which color they see.
Another way is to use a sorting mat and have them place the flowers on the correct color. This is a fun way to let a young child do the activity independently. A busy toddler will quickly get to work sorting and organizing a small collection of flowers. If your child is unsure of where to begin, do a few together until they get the idea.
By picking up and placing the flowers, toddlers are practicing fine motor skills. Some stems are very thin and require concentration to pick them up and place them.
Toddler's can have difficulty grasping different objects. Grasping and placing flowers gives them practice manipulating everyday objects.
Ideas for Older Learners
Sort by color tone not just by color. Have children arrange the flowers found within each color from lightest to darkest or darkest to lightest. Practicing tone is a great way to integrate classification skills with children. Observing and coming up with their own classification system is a great way to practice critical thinking skills.
2. Sorting Multi Colored Flowers
This activity can be a stand alone activity or can be a follow up to the first activity. Similar to the first one, children can group flowers together that share a common color. For example, flowers that contain the color yellow even if yellow is not the main color.
Most flowers will have a variety of colors within each flower. Going through and sorting the flowers encourages young children to look closely and make detailed observations.
Either have them do this out loud together or by placing them on the sorting mat.
If doing this out loud together, practice saying the name of the color in words. Looking at a flower and saying the secondary colors in words is a new way to practice classification and colors.
By looking at similar colors, little learners are practicing identifying common properties.
Extensions for Older Children
Classify and sort the flowers based on how many colors it contains. For example, if a flower has three distinct colors, place those in one pile. Depending on the age of the child, they can get creative finding and classifying by the number of colors in the flower. This will encourage them to practice the concept of sorting based on similar characteristics.
While they are observing the flowers, they might notice different patterns with a specific color. For example, several flowers might have yellow centers.
These flowers may have petals that contain no yellow. Observation skills are the foundation of science education. Classifying objects then counting how many in each pile is one of the Common Core State Standards for Kindergarten math (source).
3. Create Math Centers
Through sorting flowers, young kids can practice math skills. One way to create a math center is to have them count the number of flowers in a vase.
Identifying and counting how many objects are in a category is an important math skill. The standards state that it is important for kindergartners to count in order while properly matching a stated number with how many are present (source).
Another way to run a math center is to have preschoolers place flowers from a vase into piles on sorting mats. The sorting mats can show large numbers.
Young learners can place one, then two, and three flowers on the numbers. In doing so, they will create a visual representation of the number.
These activities practice math skills, fine motor skills, along with number sense. Young kids will begin to see that the number three goes with three flowers. Learning math is easy and fun when using concrete everyday items.
Extensions for Elementary Aged Learners
Older children can sort and arrange the flowers into visual number groups. For example they can show the number seven by placing seven flowers into a group.
Afterwards, they can practice addition and subtraction by moving and manipulating the flowers. This extra practice will help solidify math skills by manipulating everyday objects.
4. Flower Themed Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are a simple way to get young kids exploring in new concepts. In this classification activity, flowers are placed in a sensory bin or basket.
You can create a flower themed sensory bin by placing flowers with different sized petals in the bin. Toddlers can then pull apart the flowers and sort the petals.
To practice number sense, encourage them to group the petals to create a visual representation of the numbers 1-10.
Petals are fun because they smell amazing along with coming in many shapes and sizes. Little learners can practice fine motor skills when pulling apart the petals with their little hands.
A different way to sort the petals would be to arrange them by size. Young learners can line them up from smallest to largest. Don't be surprised if they naturally begin to count them after they have them lined up. Another easy way to incorporate math skills.
Extend the Lesson for Older Children
Similar to the idea in activity three, kids can practice addition and subtraction. Both math activities would also be a perfect way to extend the lesson plans for elementary kids. Petals can be lined up and moved around to visually show math in action. New math vocabulary can be introduced while they sort.
5. Go On a Flower Color Hunt
Finally, what better way to get your little learner excited about practicing classification than to go on flower color hunts. Flowers provide the perfect learning opportunity for little learners due to children's natural desire to seek out bright colors. Bring along color cards or informally explore your yard or a garden together.
Related Post: Winter Color Scavenger Hunt for Kids
Along the way, pick a bouquet of colorful blooms. Or simply enjoy the process and leave the flowers unpicked. Either way, young learners are identifying different colors in a new way.
How to Adapt for Older Children
If you look closely, most flowers contain many flowers. Uncommon color words including indigo, violet, scarlet, fushsia, and gold can all be discussed. Along with common color words.
Even if preschoolers do not have a firm grasp on uncommon colors, it can be a fun way to introduce new words using concrete objects. Older children will enjoy learning new words and colors.
The Benefit of Using Flowers in Classification Activities for Preschoolers
Flowers provide the perfect opportunity for young learners to practice classification skills. Through their bright colors and scents, kids are sure to enjoy these fun activities.
By observing flowers, preschoolers you are creating meaningful experiences that are sure to remember. These are soon to become your child's favorite sorting activities.
Resources for Parents
Each state has its own set of standards, and every child learns at a different pace. I like to use these as a general guide, verses set rules.