Columbia’s flowers are in full bloom and they will continue to bloom throughout the summer into the fall. Flowers—even weeds—tell an important story about the climate and ecosystem of an area. These simple activities require very little preparation, but they pack a big learning punch.
Most of us plant flowers in front of our homes or on back patios, because they are pretty and they smell nice. But these little secret agents do have more than meets the eye.
Read, watch and learn about a flower’s important job—pollination— in the BrainPop Pollination video or KidsInfobits Parts of a Flower video (accessible with your library card).
Columbia’s warm springs and hot, hot summers make it possible for many beautiful flowers to grow. Flowers like the Yellow Jessamine (South Carolina’s State Flower) love the hot humid heat of the midlands.
Use these beautifully hand-painted nomenclature cards created by the artist Mazie Cook to help your child identify popular flowers blooming around Columbia. Click the image below to download and print.
First time using nomenclature cards? Find directions here. The goal is two have two working sets of cards—one set with name and picture attached and a separate set with name cut from the picture.
Biology and Art:
Making Space with Christian Robinson
Give your child an opportunity to pick from the garden to learn about the anatomy of a flower while creating a one-of-kind piece of art. (Psst! Take a look at this video from the Montessori Guide for some conversation tips).
The Eric Carle Museum’s shares flower inspired art activities. They also share a video from children’s book author and illustrator Christian Robinson as he works in his garden and guides you through an art project.
Flowers are more than just pretty faces. They play a key role in the South Carolina ecosystem. Certain flowers create friendly habitats for hummingbirds, monarch butterflies, bees, and many other creatures.
Scientists have discovered within the last several years that bees have begun to decrease in number. Help save the bees by monitoring them in your area through a project called Bumble Bee Watch. It’s a great way to support scientific research and learn about ecosystems at the same time.
The nomenclature cards can help your child identify flowers that attract different animals.
Aster— hummingbirds, butterflies,& bees
Begonia—butterflies & hummingbirds
Black Eyed Susan—birds, bees, & butterflies
Carolina Phlox—hummingbirds & butterflies
Crested Iris—hummingbirds & bees
Gerbera Daisy—bees & butterflies
Snapdragon—hummingbirds, bees, & butterflies
Yellow Jessamine—hummingbirds, game birds,& butterflies
Want to learn more about flowers, gardens and outdoor adventures? Enjoy a good garden story or activity by checking out one of the books below.