I am the biggest fan of Eric Carle. I love the simplicity of his illustrations and the stories he tells are ones that even the youngest kids can follow! I decided to create a simple watercolor garden project to go along with one of his lesser known stories (at least in my family), The Tiny Seed.
This is a great story about the journey of a seed. You can actually watch a reading of the story on YouTube! After reading the story I set my kids up with a sheet of heavy white index paper, however white construction paper would would just as well. I gave them each a set of watercolors and a brush and the only instruction I gave them was to cover up the whole paper with color!
Once the paintings were dry I started to cut them up. If you have older kids you can let them cut their own petals out. My kids are still a little young and so I did the cutting for them. I cut two different shapes out of the paper. I cut one sheet full of tooth shaped petals and the other sheet a bunch of 1 inch long traditional petals. I folded each of the tooth shaped petals gently around my thumb to give them a little dimension. I also used a single hold punch along one of the scrap edges to get some flower centers as a last minute addition!
Once all the pieces were cut out I helped my girls start gluing down the large flower petals. We gently folded the bottom edge of the petal up and smeared them with a glue stick. The they placed them in a large circle. We went back through with the second set of large petals centering them between the petals on the outside circle. For the final inner circle it only took a couple of petals to fill in the middle and we glued a couple down flat for the middle.
The I let them smear a bunch of glue all over the bottom third of the paper and they randomly placed the hole punched circles. Then they added the small oval petals around those centers, overlapping them as needed. They loved this part because there was very little directions from me!!
When they were all done gluing their petals down we set them off to the side to dry. Then we created a sweet vignette for them to display their beautiful watercolor garden artwork!