Water is one of the greatest sensory bases of all time, primarily because it never fails to entertain my children! It’s also readily available and not too much hassle to clean up (which is a big bonus). We recently enjoyed experimenting with some of Learning Resources’ fun water tools in a simple rose petal bin activity.

Setting up the activity

This was a late afternoon activity which meant we were just after something simple, hands-on, and engaging. I had some beautiful roses which were on their way out. Instead of just getting rid of them, I set them out alongside a bin of water and our Learning Resources Sand and Water Fine Motor Tool Set.

Time to explore

With a setup like this, I always let my preschooler have plenty of time to explore the materials freely. I don’t try to dictate what she does and when, but instead, I simply share in her delight as she tests out all of the different tools and components of the activity.

Her first port of call was to try each of the water tools one by one. She loved the Squeezy Bottle! She went straight for it and proceeded to spend a considerable amount of time just filling it up with water and squirting it straight back out into the bin. She was also intrigued by the Spinner. This tool is designed more for sand, but it was still fun for her to use in the water. It got her gross and fine motor skills working hard!

Adding in the rose petals

After each tool had been carefully tested out, my preschooler went rose petal crazy! She thought it was fascinating that each rose had so many petals tightly layered inside it. She carefully peeled each petal off and dropped it into the water. As she did this, we chatted about the petals and linked them to her senses- what could she see, smell and feel? This is always a fun, hands-on way to develop vocabulary and encourage a sense of inquisitive thinking.

Once rose petals were floating in the water, the Scooper tool came into its own. My preschooler had a blast fishing for rose petals in the water. She would see how many she could catch in one scoop. I gave her a few small bowls to sort the petals into as she liked to keep the striped ones in their special place.

Let’s make perfume

The final stage of this setup was the highlight for my little one. She decided after smelling the lovely rose petals that they were perfect for making perfume with. She lovingly watered the flowers to make them ‘as smelly as possible’ before stirring and squeezing them. She made several batches in the small pots, asking me to test each one and decide if it was smelly enough. We were able to add in some essential numeracy work by talking about the number of squirts of water, how many rose petals to use, and vocabulary linked to volume. So much sensory fun and a healthy dose of fine motor work too!