We love an activity that you can do with things you already have in the house, and this one is guaranteed to be a hit with the kids!
You will need: Paper or card (the thicker the paper/card, the slower the flowers will ‘bloom’), scissors, water, waterproof container, colouring pencils or felt tips (optional).
Water does some pretty cool things to paper, and this activity is a fun way to explore this!
Here’s how it’s done:
1. Draw a flower on card or paper and cut it out. You might want to cut out the flower for your kids depending on how confident they are with scissors.
2. Fold over the petals so they are overlapping. Don’t fold too firmly or the paper might soak up with water before the petals get a chance to ‘bloom’.
3. Put the flower in a container of water with the petals facing up. Watch them open out as the flower seems to magically bloom!
4. Now you can explore with different designs, shapes of flower, decorations and even secret messages. Check out the video for a couple of examples!
Here’s how it works:
Paper is made of lots of tiny wood fibres. Water likes to ‘stick’ to things, and when it touches the paper it gets inside as quickly as it can because it wants to stick to the fibres. It fills up all the tiny holes in between the wood fibres. This is called ‘capillary action’.
This makes the paper swell because of all the water inside that wasn’t there before, and this forces the paper to unfold as much as it can (a bit like if you eat too much and have to undo your belt!). This makes the petals open out like a flower.