Green/Adventure [Nurture Photography]

The humid summer days in Chicago make it difficult for us to get outside as much as we’d like. Ten minutes at the playground and Mikey is already done, telling me he’s too hot and he’d like to go home. The boy that would under normal circumstances campaign for an entire day, or week, spent at the park.

We take a long winding route home through the native gardens at the park. In the winter the gardens are brown with soil and dried up leaves, now the plants have grown taller than us. Although we’re ready to leave, we still pause for butterflies and bugs that cross our path, to crouch beneath plants that have spread over the path, and to inspect leaves and flowers.


We decide to take our curiosity home with us, where the blinds are closed, it is less bright and much cooler. Due to not being allowed to cut flowers from the parks and our own distinct lack of a backyard of any kind, I bought a bunch of flowers from a nearby supermarket for us to look at.

Dissecting a flower from the bunch, Mikey points out the yellow part, “The bees and butterflies like this part, what is it?” We talk about pollen, nectar, honey, and what some insects like to eat.

Dissecting Plants Craft

Dissecting Plants Craft

Dissecting Plants and Creative Nature Photography

I’ve always felt that science, math, and art compliment one another very nicely. In this case Mikey and I decided to take apart each piece of a flower or a leaf stem and look at what makes up the whole.

If you decide to do this project with young children, make sure that the plants they are handling are not toxic and that they wash their hands afterwards.

We started out by naming each piece of the plant as we took it apart, if you like you can make notes in your Summer Journal. Mikey decided he’d like to press a few of the pieces to paste into his summer journal. We don’t have a flower press so we pulled out our biggest book (Gardner’s Art Through the Ages, if you were wondering) and pressed the pieces inside between sheets of printer paper.

Dissecting Plants Craft

We counted the parts of the plants and arranged them into little groups. We started making patterns out of each part separately, then moved on to combining parts of different plants to make new patterns, counting out the number of leaves or petals as we went along and lining up the designs so that they were somewhat symmetrical.

I stood on a step stool and photographed each of our designs from above after we were finished with them.

Dissecting Plants Craft

Dissecting Plants Craft

Dissecting Plants Craft

Dissecting Plants Craft

*Photos taken using the Lensbaby Composer Pro with Edge 80 Optic (except the square photo at the top, which is iPhone)

If it’s not to hot to get outside where you are, why not take the kids on a scavenger hunt? You can bring home some of the plants you find in your backyard and dissect them for science projects as well.

Today Kristi is sharing an awesome Printable Scavenger Hunt list as well as some tips on having a fun Scavenger Hunt with the kids!

Nurture Photography Challenge - Summer 2013 Edition

I’m teaming up with Kristi of Live and Love Out Loud for another inspiring adventure as we photograph our way through summer with the Nurture Photography Challenge. We’re doing it big this summer and getting the kids involved. We’ve got tips and tutorials, inspiring weekly prompts, and fun summer activities to do with your kids.

Just a few more details:

All are welcome regardless of skill level, camera equipment or geographic location.

Share your favorite images inspired by our weekly prompts each Friday and grab our lovely button while you’re at it!

Last, but not least, grab our pretty little button!

Nurture Photography Challenge - Summer 2013 Edition

The linky will remain open from 9am Friday – 9am Thursday CST. Don’t forget to visit and comment on the previous entry in the linky list.

We’re sharing the photography love and showcasing our talented photographers by pinning some of your lovely photos to our Nurture Photography Inspiration Board.

The Nurture Photography Challenge has taken to Facebook! Stop by, “like” our new Facebook fan page, ask questions and share your work on our wall as well.

Next week’s Prompt is: Red/Treat


  1. I love it this hot! I’ve been waiting for some sun for months and months now – I won’t even complain for one second since we never see it here! I love how you took the petals and leaves and spread them out. We studied the entire parts of flowers this past year in school and did something similar, but I never took photos – silly me!
    Tiaras & Tantrums´s last post ..A Green Adventure

    • Oh my goodness, my European blood just cannot handle this heat! I have a friend who loves it too, you’re both crazy 😉 I love the sunshine and all, but once the temperatures get into the 90’s I just want to hide away.

    • Thank you 🙂

      That’s an idea, I was thinking about setting him up with a flickr account or something for his photos and photos of his art work. At the moment they’re all just stored on my computer.

  2. Brandi

    Wow, this is a great idea! What an interesting way to work on patterns, math, science and art! I am very inspired today!

    • There was a storm on Friday night so I’m hoping it will be less humid today, this little boy needs to get outside and run off some energy before he drives us all nuts!

  3. this is a wonderful idea 🙂 and the photos are amazing.

    i know what you mean about the weather. it’s all my husband talks about (aka complains about). hopefully next week will be better.
    Jenny´s last post ..Things are looking brighter!

    • I swear I must check the weather about 7 times a day, I blame it on my being British though… we’re weather obsessed 🙂

    • Thanks Cheryl, yes Mikey is quite a visual/kinetic learner so I’ve been trying to come up with different ways to help him remember things and also keep him curious 🙂

  4. Hi!
    This is such a creative idea! I know how you and mickey feel about the really hot days. You just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING at all, even though everything looks so beautiful outside!
    I love how curious children are, and this idea is perfect for satisfying their curiosity 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    • It does look beautiful outside, it’s very deceptive! Then we get out there and find ourselves almost wading through the humidity… my British blood doesn’t do well in this kind of heat!

      Yes, Mikey has been very curious lately about what living things are made from, so I thought that this would encourage that somewhat, he seemed to enjoy it!

  5. A lovely and creative afternoon – It’s wonderful to see what happens when we adults follow the initiatives coming from our children – the curious minds and the questions that are arising!
    And youf wonderful Photos! Thank you for this challenge and for your inspiration!
    Nina´s last post ..Green / Adventure {Nurture Photography}

  6. We’ve been having the same weather here! Luckily I think it’s cooled down for the next few days-yay for playing outside! Love the dissecting the flower idea!
    Lish´s last post ..Summer Adventures

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