playing with flowers… a problem and a compromise

We have a playing with flowers dilemma around here.  The problem is not just a Mom vs Daughter flower debate, although we have those too.  The heart of this dilemma resides right here with me.

I know the importance of flower play.  I can certainly understand Little M’s desire to hold, feel, smell, and manipulate real flowers.  The fragrances and textures are so diverse, I’m sure they call to her.

But I also love the flowers.  Where they are.  In the garden.  I love looking out the window while I do the dishes and seeing the gorgeous blooming flowers or sipping tea while I watch the kids play near a colorful assortment of fresh blossoms.  There is only a short time that these flowers will fill our backyard, and I want to enjoy every minute of them.

How can we both use these blossoms without destroying the other’s enjoyment?  Tinkerlab’s newest Creative Challenge seemed like the perfect time to come up with a compromise once and for all.

Playing with flowers is important to Little M and therefore it is important to me.  So I came up with a few special rules that I thought would make us both happy.

Playing with Flowers RULES

  • Only take from the bushes and vines that produce an abundance of flowers.  (I showed her which ones these were everyday for a week before I expected her to remember on her own.)
  • Any flowers (pretty weeds) that are growing on the grass or poking through the fence are free to be plucked.
  • The unique bush that leans over from the neighbors yard (the ones with the round blue balls) needs trimming anyway, grab from there whenever you want.
  • Any daisies that are starting to wilt, may be pruned as long as you do it correctly.  (This was also a great lesson in pruning!)

Our new set of rules has ended the flower battle.  Hooray!

 The Great Flower Comprise is in full effect, so if you were to peak into our backyard you would find a lush, blooming flowerbed right along side a  busy flower creation station.

Now that you have some ideas for putting an end your flower battles,  visit the links below to see what to do with your freshly picked flowers!

 Rainy Day Mum *  Learn with Play *  Hands On: As We Grow  * Creative Playhouse  * Smiling Like Sunshine *  Growing a Jeweled Rose *  A Mom with a Lesson Plan  * Carrots Are Orange  *  Montessori Tidbits  *  The Educators’ Spin On It  *  Nurture Store  *  Kitchen Counter Chronicles    Experimenting Mom  *  Imagination Soup  *  Glittering Muffins  *  Famiglia and Seoul    Inspiration Laboratories  * The Golden Gleam *   The Good Long Road *  The Chocolate Muffin Tree  *  The Outlaw Mom *  Play Dr. Mom  *  Familylicious  *  Mum Paints Lives  *  Royal Baloo


  1. My daughter loves playing with flowers too! Great discussion!

    I have had simila talks with my daughter about flower (and leaf) picking from the yard. We specifically planted flowers that are good for cutting just for the purpose of play.

  2. I’ve faced the same dilema and your advice is perfect for teaching kids about pruning and preserving flowers for visual enjoyment. The best part is that little M can confidently pick from the garden as she pleases without worrying about which flowers she can take. Thanks for joining the creative challenge, as always!

  3. What a great post! Kids have such a hard time knowing when it’s okay to play with flowers and when they can only look. You’ve done a great job showing us how to teach them the difference.

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