Spring is in full bloom all around us here in New England (finally!). And with it, lots of sunny days in the great outdoors. This year, Big M more than ever is full of questions and wants to know the names of all the flowers! We recently made our own Forsythia Suncatchers, which she proudly showed off and named to anyone who stopped in. Her inquisitiveness and enthusiasm inspired me to reach out to my fellow kids’ activity bloggers and put together a Tour the World by Flower blog hop. Join us in our lesson of geography, culture and art, and take a trip around the world! Each of us individually have created a flower craft representing our official state (province, county or country) flower, and all the participants’ posts can be viewed right here at Playground Parkbench!
Flower Crafts for Kids: Connecticut Mountain Laurel
Being a Nutmegger by transplant, I had to look up the state flower to determine what I would be making to represent the state of Connecticut. The Mountain Laurel, scientific name Kalmia latifolia, was adopted as the state flower of Connecticut in 1907. It is also the state flower of Pennsylvania.
About the Mountain Laurel
Also called also called ivybush, calico bush, sheep laurel, lambkill, clamoun, and spoonwood, the Native Americans used to make spoons from its wood. It is native to the eastern United States, and it can be found from Maine to Florida, and reaching as far west as Indiana and Louisiana. It is a flowering shrub, and a member of the heather family. The evergreen shrub produces star-shaped, fragrant, white and pink flowers which bloom in clusters in May and June.
It should be noted that the Mountain Laurel is poisonous to most animals and humans. All green parts of the plant, its flowers, twigs and pollen are toxic. It is sufficiently bitter tasting to deter animals from eating it, which makes it an ideal shrub for landscaping in Connecticut, where deer often graze in people’s yards.
Last weekend, our family went to a huge landscaping nursery to pick out landscaping for our new house – I was super excited to get to see, take pictures and show the girls Mountain Laurels up close… only none of them were in bloom yet, just budding! Fortunately, I was able to find some great images online to show the girls for our inspiration.
Mountain Laurel Flower Craft
Our flower craft to depict the Mountain Laurel involves a little bit of process art, and features a household recyclable – egg cartons!
Pink and white paintGlue stick
Green and blue card stock
Pink pipe cleaners
Pink pom poms, assorted sizes
Hot glue (grown ups only)
Cost: Less than $5
Prep Time: Less than 15 minutes (though need 2 days to complete parts)
Clean-Up Time: Less than 15 minutes
To make our Mountain Laurel, first we painted the egg cartons. Since it is warm out (and I don’t trust Lil’ M, aka The Destroyer, inside the house with paint), we took our painting outdoors. While some Mountain Laurels are mostly white, I loved the pink and white variety. We painted the outside of our cartons pink, and the insides white.
After allowing them to dry overnight, I cut the cups apart, trimming off the excess edges, and set the girls up with blue card stock to paste them on in clusters, and green leaves, I also cut from card stock.
While they glued on their ‘flowers’, I attached various size pink pom poms to 2-3″ lengths of pink pipe cleaners with hot glue to represent Mountain Laurels in varying stages of bud and bloom. Lastly, I took a pink Crayola Gel Marker to add a little detail and dimension to the insides of our white flower cups. And voila!
If you enjoyed this flower craft, be sure to check out the 25+ other flower crafts, everywhere from California and Texas, to Australia, India, UK and more in our Tour the World by Flower Blog Hop. It has been so fun to learn about all the different flowers from around the country and the world, and see all the different media and methods families used to create their flower crafts.
What is your official state or country flower? What are different ways you have represented it?
Linked up at Crafty Moms Share.