This is one of my favorite spur-of-the-moment ideas I’ve had. I think I’d seen this done before but never tried it myself. I was shopping at the Dollar Tree (one of my favorite places to get kid stuff) and saw some floral foam bricks and some fake flowers so I just went for it. In hindsight, I might go with regular styrofoam bricks next time, since the floral ones can be a little messy, but it works pretty good. It took maybe 30-60 minutes, and that was because I wanted to cover my box with wrapping paper and packing tape.
I took a box I already had and covered it to make it look pretty. Then I cut down the foam bricks so they were maybe 1/2 inch smaller than the box (so there was room for the felt to be tucked in). Dan helped me figure out that I needed long flat-headed nails to attach the felt.
I put the nails along the bottom so Ava wouldn’t be able to get to them. You want to cover three sides of the foam so that the flower stems will fit in-between. The bottom should look like the picture below:
I used extra green felt that I had around the house, so there was some weirdly cut places – I just used the nails to pin them down around the corners. Then I put the whole thing in the box. When you’re done, you should be able to “plant” the fake flowers.
Ava loves this activity. She will “pick” flowers for me and then also plant them back in the flower box. I gave her a squirt bottle so she could pretend to water it too. We keep them out next to her play kitchen and let her come back to it as she wants. I plan in the future to do a morning “lesson” where I pick up a seed packet from the store and teach her how to plant the seeds and “water” them, then they can magically grow over her naptime. There’s lots of really great picture books about planting (see below) and songs like “Rain, Rain, Go Away” and “Mr. Sun” that you can sing as you teach.
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Here’s a video of Ava playing with this activity for the first time: