Spring is on its way.
It’s still fiercely cold here with an east wind from Moscow.
But the blossom is already breaking through.
In the garden. And the park.
With the promise of trees beautifully laden with bloom to come.
Cherry. Apple. Plum. Blackthorn. And so many more.
Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.
Spring’s blossom is a wonderful excuse – if we needed one! – for adventures in the park or woods.
BUT the BIG question is …
… why DO the trees go to ALL that effort?
It can’t just be to delight us with the glories of spring, can it?
Well no 🙂
It’s ALL for the bees, of course.
Blossom and Bees
The tree needs the bees to bring pollen from one flower’s anther to another flower’s stigma …
And for most fruit trees it must be the pollen from another tree.
Through the stigma the pollen fertilises an ovule in the blossom’s ovary allowing a fruit to grow.
SO the blossom needs to do everything it can to attract the helpful bees.
With a combination of colour and smell.
And cunningly positioned anther.
SOME trees have some seriously clever tricks up their sleeves to get the bees to help.
For example, once pollinated horse chestnut blossom turns from yellow to pink so the bees don’t waste time visiting already pollinated flowers!!
Wow. Clever stuff huh?
Now, obviously the absolute best way for children to explore blossom is just to enjoy it.
BUT there are a whole bunch of blossom questions you can ask.
To get kids thinking. And nurture your little naturalist.
They’re NOT “right-answer” type of questions.
Just simple prompts to notice and wonder …
- Has the blossom come before the leaves?
- What colour is it?
- Does the blossom change colour?
- What colour is the pollen?
- Is the blossom a different colour in the centre?
- Can you find the stigma on the blossom?
- Can you spot any pollinators on the tree?
- Can you spot anyone snacking on the blossom? (clue: pigeons!!)
And even if you’re not super crafty, there are some lovely simple blossom activities you can enjoy with kids with very little effort.
Simple Blossom Activities
We LOVE painting petal pictures …
… it’s a fabulous way to get kids to explore blossom further.
Cutting up the petals.
And checking them out under a magnifying glass or microscope.
Before adding to the picture.
And blossom is a great prompt for exploring simple painting techniques and textures …
- Cherry blossom painting from Projects With Kids
- Hanging Tree Blossom Craft from Buggy & Buddy
- Handprint Cherry Blossom Tree from Crafts On Sea
I do hope you have fun enjoying the blossom with your kids.
For more simple everyday notes on exploring nature and the great outdoors with children do follow my new Facebook page.