Summer is coming! Warm weather, sun, sand, surf… The thought of the beach put me in the mood to make flower leis with the kids.
This is a very simple lacing activity using fabric flowers and cut up plastic drinking straws. I bought the flowers from Educational Experience, an online educational supply store. These flowers have little holes in the centre of each one, perfect for threading. You could also make your own fabric flowers from fabric scraps, or use paper/tissue paper for the flowers.
Threading flowers and straws.
We cut pieces of yarn roughly a metre long, and tied a big knot in one end to prevent the flowers from slipping off. The kids alternated flowers and straws until they had filled their yarn up. I helped them tie the ends together to form a loop, and the leis were ready to wear.
The younger kids had some trouble keeping the plastic yarn needle on the yarn, so I tied the needle on for them. This allowed them to focus on the threading without the frustration of needing to re-thread the needle all the time. Once they were finished, we just cut the needle off and tied the ends together. The boys (who are only two) did very well with this activity, carefully threading their flowers and straws on. This is a great activity for fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and concentration. And it makes some lovely, bright leis for dressing up with!
I bought these fabric flowers on a bit of a whim, with no idea what we might use them for, I just liked the look of them. Seeing all the flower bouquets in the lead up to Mother’s Day made me think of our fabric flowers, and how we could use them to make our own bouquets.
Two flower shapes on one stem.
Each of the flower shapes have a little hole in the centre of them, just perfect for threading onto pipe cleaners. We cut some green pipe cleaners in half, and used these as the flower stems. There were three sizes of flowers in the pack, and the kids used these layered from largest to smallest on their stems. Some of their flowers had only one flower shape, while others had three layered on each stem. We twisted the end of the pipe cleaner over on itself at the centre of the flowers to prevent the flowers from coming off their stems.
Placing the flower shapes onto a stem.
Once they had finished making their flowers, they bundled them together, re-arranging them into a bouquet with all the flowers facing out or up. We bent some of the pipe cleaner stems to help shape the bouquets. Once they were happy with their bouquets, we tied them up with ribbons.
L and A combined their flowers into a vase for the dining room table, where they look very pretty.