By Jill Brooke
Jennifer Reed is not only one of the nation’s most innovative florists but she is also a mom on two girls, Hannah and Chloe.
And like parents around the country, she was struggling to figure out how to keep the kids occupied.
Naturally, you go with what you know and she decided to create an event teaching kids about flowers, arrangements and connecting with nature.
She named it “Best Buds.” Cute right?
We asked the owner of Jennifer Designs Events in Pennsylvania what tips she can share for parents around the country who have to find projects to do with their kids.
Small loose blooms
Mixed Foliage (precut)
Involve children in picking out blooms from local farms and growing their own flowers. Explain the growing seasons as well and what does best in your region.
Pick out flowers that aren’t the norm, there are much more than carnations, roses and mums out there. Kids enjoy seeing different shapes, colors, sizes. So pick something more interesting and fun that they have never seen before like thistle, orchids, hypericum, Craspedia.
Let your children get to know and understand flowers by dissecting them and the science behind flowers and how they grow. I do a fun activity that they take the flowers apart and create pictures and we photograph them.
Think outside the box. Flowers don’t just have to be placed in a vase for display anymore. Have your children have fun and be creative! Flower Wearables like; a head wreath, Sunglasses, hats… or perhaps flowers for your bike or scooter! The possibilities are endless!
The most important thing, let them have fun and express who they are. Just like painting a picture or coloring, this is their “Artwork” and we don’t want them to stay in the lines. Clearly you need to teach the basics; Line, Color, Proportion. But ultimately it’s so much fun to see them create and have that sense of pride. It’s even better when they want to gift it to someone and see the joy it brings them.
The class was so successful that she intends to do more. In fact, you can buy a floral kit on her website and she also teaches on-line classes. An added bonus is that the class appeals to all age groups so brothers and sisters can be part of it.
“I wanted to explain the benefits of teaching our youth floral design,” she says. “The beauty and power of flowers are fleeting but I think it’s important to teach children and adults the importance of living in the moment and appreciating things just a bit more especially during times like these.”
Photo Credits: Amberlee Namini Photography
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD.