STEM Challenge: Magic Blooming Flower

The first day of Spring is right around the corner, and this week we are going to do a magic blooming flower challenge to start off this season! Watch your handmade paper flowers magically unfold over and over again!

Visit our blog every Thursday to see our latest STEM challenge and share your creations on social media using #CMMSSTEMChallenge or by emailing marketing@childrensmanor.com. Be sure to submit your photos to us by Monday, March 22, 2021!

          • Paper Flower Worksheet
          • Different types of paper that you can cut into squares. Using an assortment of different weights/thicknesses is ideal so you can observe how they each unfold differently. (ex. regular paper, cardstock, construction paper, tissue paper, etc.)
          • Scissors
          • Ruler
          • Stickers
          • Bowl of water
      1. Print out the Paper Flower Worksheet, and fill in the columns with the types of paper that you are going to use, and your guess for how long it will take each type of paper to “bloom.”
      2. Use a ruler and scissors to cut your paper into 3×3 inch squares.
      3. Fold the square paper in half one way and then in half the other way. Then, draw a petal shape outward from the folded corner, and cut around the shape to make flower petals.
      4. When you unfold the paper you will have a beautiful flower! Then, place a sticker or draw a smiley face in the center to represent the middle of the flower. Once the sticker is in place, fold the tip of each petal to the middle point so that the sticker is hidden.
      5. Next, gather your bowl of water and place the folded paper flower gently into the bowl and wait for the magic to happen.
      6. After a short wait, watch as the paper flower slowly begins unfolding, and your flower will ‘bloom’!
Why does different paper react differently?

Paper is made up of small fibers. When these fibers absorb water, they swell up and the paper expands. This makes the creases flatten out, which in turn makes the flower open. Because of the material, different types of paper soak up water at different speeds. This explains why a tissue paper flower opens almost immediately on contact with water while a cardstock flower may take a minute or so to slowly blossom.

We can’t wait to see your results! Don’t forget to send your photos of your results to marketing@childrensmanor.com by Monday, March 22!

Activity Credit: The STEM Laboratory