Wildflowers provide a great way to study nature without much effort at all. Here are a few ways we use wildflower blooms in art and nature study.
I just love to chronicle the procession of wildflowers throughout the growing season. There is always a succession of blooming to watch and record. This post contains affiliate links to support the work here at Blog, She Wrote. All of the products I’ve shared here are ones that we have and use and love. I hope you can enjoy them too!
Resources for studying & identifying wildflowers:
- A Field Guide to Wildflowers: Northeastern and North-central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
- Wildflowers of North America – Usborne
- National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Wildflowers–E: Eastern Region – Revised Edition
- Peterson First Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-central North Amer ica
- Wildflowers, Blooms & Blossoms (Take Along Guides)
- Flower Finder: A Guide to the Identification of Spring Wild Flowers and Flower Families East of the Rockies and North of the Smokies, Exclusive of Trees and Shrubs (Nature Study Guides)
– a dichotomous key to identifying plants and their flowers. These don’t use picture identification, but they focus on aspects of the plant’s anatomy to narrow down the species.
- Wildflowers (Golden Guide)– an oldie but goodie field guide
Just a note on where to pick up field guides– the library has them, but I like to have them on hand for all of our nature activities. My best source has been our Friends of the Library book sale. They have a large nature section with gobs of guides. I go twice a year to check the stash. Just a few weeks ago I scored the Audubon guide and the Peterson guide for just a few dollars. Even an older version of a field guide will yield plenty of information for your student.
Other resources for wildflower studies:
Flower pressing and identification– from the Adventure Box ideas
How to Make a Flower Press– by Barb at Handbook of Nature Study
Handbook of Nature Study Wildflowers & Weeds Edition– if you subscribe to Barb’s newsletter, you’ll get some great ideas on spending time outdoors to study flowers.
A Note about the Handbook of Nature Study Newsletter– I love this little newsletter. It’s always full of encouragement and ideas along with printables for the theme. It’s a can’t miss so subscribe if you don’t already!
WoodsWalk: Peepers, Porcupines, and Exploding Puff Balls!– I love this little book. It’s about forest habitats both eastern and western forests with information on flora and fauna according to the season. There are tips for walking in the woods and how to do it safely. I wanted to include this one as a resource because very often wildflowers are found within the forest.
Earlier this spring we enjoyed another lesson in chalk pastels with Nana. This time it was a flowering tree- the dogwood. Living in upstate NY, we don’t see tons of flowering trees on the edges of forests like you might further south, but they are around. We have red buds and other lovely flowering trees, but they bloom so much later than in the south.
Since we hadn’t seen a dogwood close up, I gathered a few pictures for the kids to see the detail of the flower. I printed one out so they could remember the detailed color stripes on the petals and how the edges curl a bit. My mom’s photography (pictured above) of a dogwood in bloom was very helpful too. That picture hangs in our foyer in the spring.
It hardly takes any time to grab our chalks and get going with a project after we’ve seen some flowers.
One of the things I love about facilitating art projects is to see how each child will interpret the task.
There are a lot of possibilities with the flowers and some of my kids like to try more than one way.
We thought about how we could extend the use of our artwork and thought to make cards out of the designs. We made color copies four images to a page on white cardstock. I trimmed the images down and we attached them to colored cardstock for a lovely result!
We’ve used them as party invitations and get well cards so far, but the possibilities are endless when you take an original design and duplicate it. We weren’t sure how the chalked lines would render as a copy, but you can still see the texture. We tried it with watercolor pencil drawings too and I’ll share those results in another post.
Our family enjoys the time when we sit down to try out a new chalk lesson. We get a little nature study and a little art at the same time and the results are always pleasing whether you fancy yourself an artist or not! Why not try this with your kids? All you need is paper, the chalk pastels, and some great instruction.
Below you’ll find a few links to the resources I’ve mentioned including a discount code for the wildflower pages at NotebookingPages.com. Whatever materials you use, I hope you’ll take advantage of great weather and wonderful opportunities to spend time together and to enjoy some summer flower fun!
Wildflower Art & Notebooking Pages
A full school year of chalk pastel art lessons. Lucia Hames, Nana to the Hodgepodge family, teaches forty-five lessons. Her simple instructions will have you creating masterpiece drawings in no time. A Simple Start in Chalk Pastels
Use discount code = discount5 to save $5 on your $10+ purchase at NotebookingPages.com
Wildflower Notebook Pages from Harrington Harmonies