Performing a flower dissection is a fun activity for kids. They get to have hands-on experience taking apart a flower and getting familiar with each part and its function.
Choose a flower to dissect. We choose a lily. Daffodils would be a good choice for this time of year. Don’t pick a composite flower (like a dandelion) for this activity.
Have your child carefully peel off the sepals and glue them to a sheet of paper. The sepals are usually leaf-like parts under the flower that protect the flower before it opens. On a lily however, they look almost identical to the petals. If you can’t find them on your flower, it might be because they’ve already fallen off. If you are using the activity sheet have the child match the sepals to the shaded-in diagram on the sheet. Make sure you label your flower parts if you are not using the sheet.
Do the same with the petals. Make sure your child peels them off all the way to the base of the flower. Glue them to your flower dissection sheet as well.
The next thing on your flower will be the stamen. These are the male parts of the flower. There is one part in the middle that is different from the others. This is the female part. Try not to remove it in this step. You may want to shake some of the stamen over a piece of paper to try and collect some pollen. Look at this under a magnifying glass.
When pollen reaches the female part of the flower it makes its way to the middle until it finds the eggs. It joins with the eggs to make seeds.
Glue and label the stamen.
The pistil is what’s left in the middle of the flower. It’s the female part. (It can be divided into the stigma, style, ovary, and ovule, but we’re trying to keep this simple.) Glue this to the paper and label if not using the flower dissection sheet.
You will be left with the leaves and stem. These are technically not parts of the flower, but they are parts of the plant. We choose to glue and label them as well.
Reading or looking at a book related to flower dissection will add to the activity. You may wish to point out to your child how flowers all look different, but the basic parts remain the same.
- Flowers: Explore Nature with Fun Facts and Activities (Nature Explorers) This is available on Kindle.
- Parts of a Flower
To preserve your flower dissection, you can laminate it. You may wish to carefully slice the thickest part of the pistil and remove half of it. You could also do the same with the stem. Resist the urge to laminate it twice if it looks a little wrinkly when you are done. (Ask me how I know.) It squishes the juice out of the flower parts and makes it look messy.
This is one of the activities on my April Nature Calendar. Check it out for thirty days of fun nature activities.