Photo: Elan Buendia.

Spring Wildflower Activities for Kids

May 10, 2023 by Nadia Kelem
Three plant-based activities to spring your kiddos into wildflower season!

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There’s no doubt that spring is in full bloom, and with that comes stumper kiddo questions like “How do flowers know when to bloom?” or “How do plants get water from the ground?”

Unless you’re a botanist, maybe you don’t know all the answers (and if you are a botanist, perhaps those explanations would be a bit too over the top for a child). But we have three plant-based activities for you to do with your children to explore the amazing world of wildflowers, and guide exploration through open-ended questions!

1. What are the different parts of the plant, and what do they do? Plant dissection!

“Roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds” sings the Banana Slug String Band song “Roots, stems, leaves.” These are the six parts of a plant, but the looks of these parts can vary greatly depending on the plant. Identify those different plant parts in a flower dissection experiment!

Materials needed: Live flower(s), tweezers, scissors/small knife, plain paper, tape, pen.

  • Let your child choose a few flowers to dissect. These flowers should be live and fairly large, such as daffodils or tulips. Please be sure to pick these from your own yard or get a bouquet at the farmer’s market—picking wildflowers from your favorite protected area can be harmful to the flowers!
  • Using tweezers and/or a small knife (adults: help out here!), start removing different parts of the flower and place them on a piece of paper (optional to secure them down with tape).
  • Time to explore! Figure out which part of the plant is which, and hypothesize as to what they do for the flower, other creatures (like pollinators), or the environment!


2. What is the importance of light to plants? Plant light maze!

This experiment will illuminate the importance of light to plants! 

Materials needed: Cardboard (a used cereal box is great), scissors, tape/glue, small pot, soil, seed (bean is best).

  • Plant a seed, ideally a climbing plant like a bean, in a small pot.
  • Using cardboard, create a maze that allows in one spot of light at the top, but blocks all other light.
  • Place the potted seed at the bottom of the maze.
  • Make sure to water your plant daily (not exposing it to too much sunlight while doing so).
  • Track your seed’s progress towards the light!

Questions to explore together: How does the plant know where the light is? What does the plant do when it reaches the light? How might spring conditions cause plants to grow?


3. Where can I find flowers, and what are they? Flower finding and identifying!

Finally, it’s time to get outdoors and find wildflowers! Using the Land Trust wildflower bingo card, see how many different wildflowers you can find and identify. We recommend checking out Camp Polk Meadow Preserve, Indian Ford Meadow Preserve, and Whychus Canyon Preserve. *Grown-ups: Visit the Land Trust blog and social media accounts for updates on recent blooms. 

While you’re out at the Preserves, explore questions like:

Which wildflowers have a smell? What do wildflower’s leaves look like? What other flowers did you find that weren’t on the bingo sheet? 

Remember: Be kind to wildflowers! Stay on the trail and leave the wildflowers so they can keep growing!

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