Kids cutting colored paper

Counting Flowers

Ages 3 and up 

Welcome to Mathematical May, our month-long celebration of teaching math skills in early childhood! One of the best ways to teach math to young children is to increase their powers of observation. Nature presents many amazing ways to learn math skills. Consider flowers-they are naturally symmetrical and full of patterns. As our activity below will demonstrate, they also offer an interesting opportunity to count petals.  Nature offers many similar opportunities to count objects. The next time you are outside, take the opportunity to count pinecones, leaves, rocks or other objects with your child. This simple math lesson is an easy way to apply mathematical principles to everyday object.


  • Construction paper, including several different colors
  • Markers
  • A stapler
  • Tape

Directions (For instruction with image, check out:

  1. Take one piece of paper and roll it up along the long edge and tape.
  2. Staple the top of the rolled piece of paper to form a

    flat edge.

  3. Take another piece of paper and cut out a circle with about a three-inch diameter.
  4. From another piece of paper, cut out ten petals, about four inches long each.
  5. On the end of each petal write a number from 1-10.
  6. Tape the petals to the circle in numerical order.
  7. Attach the flower to the stem with tape.
  8. Use this flower to practice counting by pointing to the petals one at a time and repeating the numbers out loud.

More Fun

  • Another fun outdoor activity is learning to recognize wildflowers. Check out this simple guide here