In Spring, one of the best things we look forward to is seeing woodland turn into the most beautiful violet carpet of bluebells. They seem to spring up from nowhere, even in our garden which is in the middle of a small noisy town. I was determined for Neiva to learn more about these beautiful flowers in more detail. Wildflower week in our nature curriculum was something we were really looking forward to.
Firstly we concentrated on finding some kind of guide to help us identify wildflowers in a way that is appealing to children. I bought the book A Little Guide To Wildflowers, a beautifully illustrated child-friendly guide by colour, includes keynotes on plant parts and the seasons, along with a tick-box index for keen spotters. Flowers to Spot a beautiful little pocket book identifying 60 flowers, from cornflowers and poppies to honeysuckles and harebells. The pages are organised by location, showing flowers you might find in towns, by roadsides and in hedgerows, marshes and meadows. There’s also a spotting chart and stickers to add so you can keep track of flowers you’ve spotted. Finally, British Wild Flowers (Nature Detective), shows concise and clear descriptions of more than 50 of the most common wild flowers found in the UK today. Beautiful large colour photographs make identification easy.
Our science project for the week was to make little seed bombs. You can find the Wildlife Trust’s recipe here. The idea is, once they have dried into little hard balls, to carry them around with us and throw them into bare ground or any place where a pop of wild flower colour would be appreciated.
We incorporated a little flower petal maths into our week too. There were lots of worksheets on Pinterest and our Twinkl subscription to help with this. For Neiva, who isn’t a great fan of maths at the moment, counting flower petals was something she enjoyed very much.
Our Art study of the week was the still life painting, Spring Flowers by Norman Rockwell (USA 1969) I had never heard of this painting or the artist before this week so it was nice to study something new. Rockwell’s wife, Molly, was an avid gardener so Rockwell used her sunhat, gardening gloves, sneakers, and tools as props for the painting. It is a portrait of a woman who stays in touch with nature through the medium of her garden. Including the little robin in the doorway to signal Spring was Molly’s idea (source: Norman Rockwell Museum)
We took a little trip to a quaint little place called York Garden Gate. Not necessarily for the wild flowers since this was home to a series of beautifully arranged gardens, more for garden inspiration for the summer. We did get lucky however, since to get to the entrance of York Garden Gate you have to go through a churchyard, a churchyard filled with bluebells and other wildflowers. I think it was meant to be!
We also took a little walk to our local woods to see the bluebells up close, under strict instructions not to pick them. You can find out more on the UK wildflowers code of conduct here.
We ended our week with a baking day. I had purchased some edible pansies on rice paper earlier in the week to place on top of our peanut butter shortbread (a Deliciously Ella recipe exclusive to her app) but you can make regular shortbread in the usual way.
Next week….. Grasses