We love a beautiful flower sensory bin! This is a great way for children to learn about parts of flowers, as they add them to their potions. Turn this into a game of pretend play as you make up magical concoctions that can turn you into a unicorn, or give you special powers to be able to fly.

You might notice that children do this type of activity on their own, over and over again, even without an adult inviting them to do it. This is great! Show children how they can access the sensory bin, water, and natural materials on their own and observe when they seek this type of play on their own as a why to invite child agency into your space. One day they might add flower petals, and another day clovers–this is great! They are iterating on their play and demonstrating their own creativity and adaptability. This is a wonderful activity to accompany books about flowers such as Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn, and Flower Garden by Eve Bunting.

Set up Time: 5 minutes


Fill a sensory bin with water, and invite children to add their flower petals (foraged, or from a bouquet) to their potion! Add tools as needed, such as water droppers, spoons, or ladles.


  • Bouquet of flowers
  • Sensory bin
  • Water
  • Droppers
  • Spoons/Ladles

Learning Through Play

Cognitive: Pretend Play – We love outdoor sensory and pretend play as a way to observe children’s learning. Step back and take time to answer these questions about what you observe in children’s play: Do you observe older children teaching younger children any specific skills? Are children using language and vocabulary that you have introduced elsewhere (I.e. in a book)? Are children sharing and cooperating? These are all ways that outdoor play prepares children for life!

Social-Emotional: Empowerment – Outdoor water sensory bins are a great way to empower children to seek what they need. For example, a 3 year old child who needs to expend energy might really enjoy carrying heavy buckets of water over to the bin, whereas a toddler might really love the water and being able to splash and make a bit of a mess outside. This is great! Do this type of activity as many days as you like because there are so many learning opportunities each and every time they revisit this type of play.

School Readiness: Measurement – This type of play is great for both independent play and guided play. If guiding children, you can ask them if they have a recipe for their potion, which involves counting, measuring, and rich language and imagination. Say you have one recipe that takes 4 flower petals for a unicorn, and 5 for a frog, we could very easily find ourselves in a very silly situation where we accidentally turn someone into a frog!

See this activity in the Rayz Kidz app along with other fun activities. Rayz Kidz is your trusted source for play-based activities featuring over 100 themes and 500+ hands-on activities and clear descriptions of the beautiful learning that is happening through play.