Flower Suncatchers for Toddlers and Preschoolers
based on Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America
As part of The Nature Book Club this month we are learning about prairie flowers.
Prairie flowers are wildflowers that bloom in late summer and are typically found in a prairie.
Some examples include Coneflowers, Milkweed, Black-eyed Susans, and Goldenrod.
From an environmental point of view it’s incredibly important to recognize and preserve these native flowers to maintain habits suitable for a wide range of birds, butterflies, insects, reptiles, and other small wildlife.
These flowers are also beautiful!
To learn about prairie flowers, the kids and I
- read books about wildflowers,
- learned the names of prairie flowers growing in our neighborhood,
- and created suncatchers with some of the flowers we picked.
Read a Picture Book About Wildflowers
We highly recommend Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt and Joy Fisher Hein. This picture book is a fantastic biography of Ladybird Johnson, but also a wonderful and enjoyable introduction to the concept of ecology and wildlife preservation.
Ladybird Johnson worked to beautify America.
Ladybird Johnson was so much more than the wife of a president of the United States.
She was also an early ecologist and conservationist.
She said, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”
Her efforts weren’t just about making America prettier, they were some of the very first steps towards
Many of the terms used above weren’t even in use when she started her “beautification efforts,” but Ladybird Johnson was interested in science, not just aesthetics. She was ahead of her time.
Ladybird Johnson accomplished a lot during her lifetime; but a true lifetime passion for “beautification” led her to create the only national non-profit for preserving and re-introducing native wildflowers, trees, shrubs, vines, and grasses.
She co-founded “Ladybird Wildflower Conservation Center.”
Ladybird Wildlife Conservation Center is a native plant botanical garden in Texas actively working to improve the environment.
Here are just a few of the projects we found:
combating invasive species
You can visit Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center – Our Work for an inclusive list of ongoing projects.
“The environment is where we all meet; where we all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.”
— Lady Bird Johnson
Learn to Recognize Wildflowers
I’ll be the first to admit, I couldn’t name most of the wildflowers growing in our front yard.
If it didn’t have a sign from the garden center telling me a name, I had no idea.
I started to rectify that by using two apps that search based on a photograph I take with my phone.
- Picture This
Both are free and super easy to use.
Just snap a picture with the camera on your phone, open the app, and let the app do the work of identification.
Create Wildflower Suncatchers
Since my kids are very hands on with nature, we found some ways to create using the flowers we were identifying.
The Artful Parent has some wonderful suggestions on making suncatchers with kids.
One of those ideas involves using wildflowers and contact paper. My kids love this one!
- paper plates
- paint, crayons, markers
- contact paper
- hole punch
- ribbon or string
- flowers (petals work best)
Instructions – 6 Easy Steps
1. Cut out the center of a paper plate.
2. Use markers, paint, crayons, etc. and beautify your paper plate rim.
3. Cut out 2 circular pieces of contact paper, slightly larger than the hole in the plate.
4. Stick the contact paper to the paper plate and place it sticky side up.
Place flowers (petals lie flat and work best) on the sticky part of the contact paper.
5. Place the a second piece of contact paper sticky side down on top of the flowers.
6. Punch a hole in the paper plate frame.
Thread and tie a ribbon to hang your suncatcher!
The kids had a blast making the suncatchers.
We plan to repeat this activity in the spring with even more wildflowers!
Mama Note: We mostly used clover and other plentiful flowers we found in the field. We left the coneflowers and the milkweed alone in an effort to help out our monarch friends! We hope to plant some more native plants on our property next year!
The Nature Book Club gets together each month to share fabulous books and activities designed to help kids get outside and enjoy nature!
Here are the co-hosts, their choices of books, and activities for the month:
Prairie Habitat Clipart and Coloring Pages based on America’s Prairies and Grasslands from Barbara at Handbook of Nature Study
Notebooking Pages based on The Prairie That Nature Built from Jenny at Faith and Good Works
Nature Journaling based on Wildflowers of Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks: A Guide to Common & Notable Species from Eva at Eva Varga
Online Nature Book Course based on The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush from Dachelle at Hide The Chocolate
Flower Suncatchers for Toddlers and Preschoolers based on Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America from Erika at The Playful Scholar
Flower Printable Pack based on Prairie Flowers: Learning Activities and Lessons to Inspire Creativity! from Sharla of Minnesota Country Girl
Flower Paintbrushes based on The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush from Cassidy at Freshly Planted
Sunflower Decoupage Vase based on The Sunflower House from Katrina at Rule This Roost
Prairie Wildflower Identification Hike based on Wildflowers, Blooms and Blossoms from Thaleia at Something 2 Offer
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More Nature Topics Coming Soon!
Linking up is easy!
- Find a topic that interests you and your kids.
- Read a book, go for a nature walk, or complete a project!
- Snap a photo!
- Then, link up using a blog post or link from Instagram!
- Hope to see you soon 🙂