I love giving gifts that are unique and really tailored to the interests of the child who receives them. This flower garden role play box is such an easy idea for a gift, or simply for play at home, that can't be bought in the shops!
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I first made this gift for a friend's daughter who loves flowers and was taking a real interest in naming flowers in their garden. It would make a great gift for any little ones who love nature or enjoy role play. Kids will love to sort and match the flowers, plant them in flower pots, make bouquets or pretend to open their own flower shop.
Needless to say the present went down really well and there were a gaggle of kids at her party all wanting to have a go! I had some left over bits so my girls asked me to make up a set for them to use for their own role play.
I was so pleased when I came across this beautifully illustrated book to go with the present: A Little Guide to Wild flowers by Charlotte Voake. This is a fantastic colour-coded reference guide to flowers. It includes a list to tick off as you spot them, as well as space for scrap-booking any flower finds. Any gift that encourages kids outdoors is a winner in my mind but this book is truly lovely. It's certainly helped me brush up on my own knowledge of flowers too!
What you will need
Some of the following items you may already have going spare around the house. I bought most of the contents from Amazon, with the exception of some of the flowers that were from Ikea and the box to put it all in which was from Wilko. Please be aware that if you purchase flowers from the links I provide below they do take rather a long time to come, so plan ahead if this is intended as a gift. If you know a few children with birthdays coming up you could make it more cost effective by making up several flower garden role play boxes at once.
- Artificial flowers I tried to choose ones that were identifiable like lavender and roses rather than just generic looking flowers.
- Flower pots
- 'Soil' play dough This is the bit that takes a little bit of preparation but I assure you that my play dough recipe is very quick to make! You can find the instructions here. Just scroll to the end of the post to find out specifically how to make the play dough soil coloured. I like to use plastic jars when I'm giving gifts involving play dough as they look great and I find the play dough keeps for such a long time when stored in them. Alternatively, you could re-use any air-tight container you have or simply wrap it in cling film.
- Tissue paper and ribbons For making bouquets
- Luggage labels A great way of incorporating a writing opportunity is to add some luggage labels to write messages that can be attached to the bouquets of flowers they make. I used a flower punch stamp to add a little finishing touch to ours.
- Little guide to Wild Flowers by Charlotte Voake Not essential, but this is a lovely book!
To extend their play you could also think about including a watering can or some seeds to plant in the 'soil'. Shop role play could be enhanced with some sticky labels to write prices on and a till.
If you'd like to have a go at making your own flower garden role play box you can find links to the products we used below.