If you have a bouquet of flowers that are wilted and on their last leg (stem?), SAVE THEM before you throw them away! Past-their-prime flowers make for a sensational spring flower sensory table.
Past-their-prime flowers are PERFECT for a spring flower sensory table
We’re big fans of finding ways to reuse materials around these parts, and we’re equally big fans of fresh flowers!
Being able to have gorgeous flowers and then use them for a water table? THE BEST.
If you get Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, Valentine’s Day, birthday, or other holiday flowers, you hold the key to fun hours.
Related: Our GIANT 10-foot flower coloring banner is perfect for flower lovers!
This spring flower sensory table is basically FREE
When you are using gifted flowers that were on their way to the garbage anyway, it’s next to free.
Okay, 7 cents for the water. 🤣
And while we love that this doesn’t break the bank, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to model to our little learners that we can actually turn trash into treasure.
Looking for more water table activities? We’ve got you covered!
- Pom Pom Water Table – Busy Toddler
- Ice Kitchen Water Table – Happy Toddler Playtime
- Washing Dishes Water Play – Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
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- Fresh flowers – not fresh-fresh flowers, but used-to-be-fresh-but-it’s-been-a-week-and-now-they’re-wilting flowers
- Large plastic bin – raid your kitchen for plastic containers, too
Optional materials to add:
It’s the simplest thing. Add the water and the flowers into the bin. Ta-da!
When doing this with a group of kids, you could provide each child with a stem of flowers to contribute to the bin (that’s adorable).
You could also only add a flower into the bin once you’ve named the flower (ex: “First we’re going to add the daisy, next we’re going to add the carnation…”). We love an opportunity to incorporate delicious vocabulary.
A spring flower sensory table is a perfect child-directed activity
This type of activity is typically pretty hands-off from adults because kids will know exactly what to do with the supplies, even with little to no instructions given.
As always, supervise to ensure that the kids are using the materials safely, but provide ample opportunities for free exploration.
What do children learn from sensory tables?
I taught college courses for eight years and have MANY lectures and presentations on the importance of sensory play in my back pocket.
I could talk about this for hours.
Here’s a super quick glance at what kids are learning from water tables and activities like this:
- Reciprocity – sharing materials
- Science – exploring water
- Sensory – using visual, auditory, tactile, and olfactory senses
- Math – measuring and counting
- Literacy – naming the types of flowers
- Math – classifying and sorting flowers
- Fine motor – plucking, scooping, holding, pinching, cutting
Water tables are a cross-curricular activity because it connects so many important domains!
PLUS, IT’S FUN!
Wait – SAVE your petals and make THIS
The fun doesn’t end when you’re done with the flower water table.
Save your petals to make frozen ice cubes for HOURS of bonus play!
Before letting kids touch and use the flowers, check to make sure your specific flower varieties are safe for kids to use.
HOURS! You can also save the petals and do it again the next day.
Any age that can safely use the materials.
A spring flower sensory table is what dreams are made of
It’s virtually free, it’s GORGEOUS, and it’s endlessly exciting for young learners.
And once you start looking at materials and wondering, “How else can I use this?” you’ll see the learning opportunities in almost everything.
Every time I share this activity online, I get flooded with messages from people doing it, too.
You. Will. Love. This.