Delicate petals. Fuzzy leaves. Sweet-smelling blossoms. Vivid color contrasts. Sturdy stems. Yes, we’re talking about beloved flowers—the wild ones found peppered across fields and those bound and arranged-just-so at the supermarket.
While they are no doubt visually beautiful, flowers (nature’s treasures) can be enjoyed by all, irrespective of visual acuity, due to their lovely fragrance and texture.
And you know Mother’s Day is around the corner—did I mention floral arrangements make a delightful gift? Might I suggest inviting your child who is blind or visually impaired to choose specific foliage and flowers and personally arrange a custom bouquet? This can be accomplished with Mom as a low-key, highly-sensory activity, but could alternatively be accomplished with an older sibling or adult to be presented to Mom or Grandma as a gift.
Here’s the process for involving your child in flower arranging:
- If your child who is blind or visually impaired hasn’t been introduced to the concept of a bouquet, allow them to gently explore a pre-arranged bouquet of flowers at the store. Remember to utilize any appropriate low vision devices! Define what makes it a bouquet; discuss why people purchase or create bouquets; simply enjoy the feel, scent, and sight (if your child has usable vision) of the flowers. If age appropriate, your child can learn the price of varying bouquets and even the names and parts of flowers.
- Choose a vase from home or the store. You may want to avoid glass if you’d like your child to take responsibility in handling the vase.
- Explore your garden or a local market or grocery store selling individual flowers and foliage. Bring your vase with you so your child can feel when it is filled. They can fill the majority of the vase with greenery, and then choose a handful of colorful flowers. The flowers can be all the same color or can contrast in color. Consider choosing flowers with varying textures and sizes. Above all, empower your child to make the decisions if within the budget.
- Once home, cut all stems at an angle. Remove buds and leaves that would otherwise be lower than the water level.
- Your child can arrange and rearrange to their heart’s content!
- Fill the majority of the vase with water.
- You and your child can refresh, ideally replace, the water every day.
Your child can decorate a card for the recipient and present the fragrant, colorful gift with pride!
Additional ways to celebrate Mother’s Day:
- Your child can create a card with a braille design.