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Play a Flower Joke on Mom and Dad


For each child: a Styrofoam or paper cup | potting soil | distilled water

| large spoon | flower seeds (cosmos? marigold?) | spray bottle

Pictures of flowers cut out from garden catalogs, or books on display

Wooden dowel, approximately 12" long and 3/16th" wide | green paint | sponge brush

Green felt | other colors of felt | colorful fabric pompoms

Hot glue or regular glue

            Kids love to play practical jokes on their parents. This one is very funny if you can make sure to schedule it on two successive days. This is meant for preschoolers, but all ages of children will enjoy this.

            First, write each child's name on a cup with the name of the flower they're going to plant and what color it is.

Next, moisten the potting soil with warm distilled water. Help each child place potting soil into a cup with a large spoon or their hands. Press down gently.

Now place two or three flower seeds on top. Cover with just a sprinkling of additional soil, 'til you can't quite see the seeds any more. Spray-mist with water until it is moist, but not wet. Place in a sunny windowsill.

            Be sure to tell the children to show their parents what they planted as soon as their parents come to pick them up.

Next day: NOW COMES THE FUNNY PART! Tell the children that you're going to play a joke on their parents. Flower seeds usually take a week or more to germinate - that means sprout.

You won't even see anything green coming up out of the dirt for a week. And even then, it'll be tiny. It will take probably two or three months until the plant that will grow from that seed turns into a flower.

So let's play a trick on your parents! First, put a light coat of green paint on a dowel stick. Let dry. This is going to become a flower "stem."

(Note: some children find felt hard to cut. If you think this might be a problem for your group, pre-cut the leaves and flower parts yourself in advance.)

Next, help the children cut two green leaves out of green felt that will be the leaves of the flower.

Then help them cut a flower shape out of another color of felt. They can have several petals, like a daisy, or triangular petals across the top, like a tulip. Show them the flower pictures for ideas of the shapes they'd like. Help them discuss the various shapes of flowers as they do this.

It's a good idea to cut another shape, perhaps an oval, out of yet another color just to add contrast.

If you choose to use hot-glue, then the adult should do the gluing. Attach the larger flower head first on the end of the dowel, but down a ways so that the felt flower head will stand up.

Then glue the smaller felt flower part on.

Last, but not least, add the pompom.

Let dry.

As soon as the fake flowers are ready to go, help the children stick them clear over to the side of the dirt in their cup. You don't want to disturb the seeds!

When the parents come to pick them up, the children will have fun showing them how fast that flower grew!

These flowers are fun to take home, give to Grandma, or stick in a potted plant or out in your garden as a decoration.

By Susan Darst Williams • • Preschool 01 © 2010

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