gmhTODAY Spring 2022 - Page 76

Spring Forward with Coffee Filter Flowers

With Young Artists Viggo Swartz , age 4 and Mila Mitchell , age 5

“ Creativity is contagious . Pass it on .”
— Albert Einstein

Coffee filter flowers are a colorful spring project that you can do with toddlers and older children . It ’ s easy , inexpensive – most supplies are available at the Dollar Store – and the results are a beautiful explosion of spring color . Your children will love the visual discovery as the colors melt together when dipped in water – color mixing in action ! Try walking your child through the project by pointing out how blue mixes with yellow to make green , for example .

Suggestions : Put the paper flowers in a vase , tuck them into a wreath , tape one to a card or tie a bow around one and give them to a special person . It will put a smile on your face , a spring in your step , and warm the heart of whomever receives your special gift .
Clear plastic cups are best to use because the child can see what colors the markers leave when mixed . TIP : if doing this with more than one child , have them take turns dipping . Dip fast and keep a paper plate nearby on which to drop the wet coffee filter . Change the water after each dip . Children get very excited when they dip the folded coffee filter into the water and see the colors bleed together . Note that it has to be a quick dip .
Prior to each child dipping , engage them in counting by saying , “ We are going to count as we dip … one … two … then pull it out fast !” Praise your child after each step and even clap when counting .
This project addresses shapes , as well . You can say : ” Fold it in half and see how the circle changes shape ?” and so on . The folding and twisting of the pipe cleaner around the folded coffee filter also engages manual dexterity , hand eye coordination , and decision making in selecting the colors they use . Working together and taking turns dipping also engages social interaction and cooperation . A blow dryer speeds up the time and gives them a beautiful result quickly .
When finished , encourage your children to give their spring flowers as gifts . This teaches empathy , and delights the person that receives it as well as your child . Ask your child who they want to give their flowers to and praise them for being so creative and thoughtful .
• Round coffee filters
• Washable ( not permanent ) water based markers
• Pipe cleaners
• Clear plastic cups for water
• Plastic table cloth
• Paper plates or newspaper to put wet coffee filter on to dry
• Blow dryer
76 SPRING 2022 gmhTODAY Magazine gmhtoday . com