Science Lab: Dissecting Flowers

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Playful Learning: Dissecting Flowers

I will never forget the unexpected delight I felt when my college botany professor announced that we would be dissecting flowers in class. The fact that I had appreciated flowers for so many years without ever knowing what was going on inside of them was eye-opening for me. By taking the time to slow down and dig a bit deeper, I discovered a whole new world—the inner workings of a flower.

Isn’t that what we all want? To be pleasantly surprised by a new discovery, to experience the awe and sense of wonder for all the universe has to offer? To feel that there is something bigger and greater than ourselves at work in the world?

Go ahead, give it a try!

First, start out by exploring the parts of a flower…


Then try to dig a little deeper…


  • Eco-System
  • Petal – outer sections of the flower
  • Stem – main stalk of the plant
  • Pistil – part of the flower that produces seeds
  • Stigma – sticky part at the top of the pistil that catches the pollen
  • Style – long part of the pistil between the stigma and the ovary
  • Stamen – part of the flower that produces pollen
  • Filament – part of the stamen that supports the anther
  • Anther – part at the top of the stamen that produces the pollen
  • Ovary – large part of the pistil that produces the ovules
  • Ovules – when the ovules are fertilized by pollen, they become the seeds
  • Spathe – thin sheath that protects the flower buds


  • Cutting Board
  • Flowers
  • Child-Safe Knife or Scissors
  • Printables (see below)


Book Love

  1. The Reason for a Flower by Ruth Heller – This is our go-to book for using when we dissect flowers. It has lovely illustrations that explain the parts and functions of all the parts of a flower.
  2. Pick, Pull, Snap!: Where Once a Flower Bloomed by Lola M. Schaefer – This is a lovely picture book that describes in simple terms the process by which plants flower, create seeds, and bear fruit.
  3. Flowers are Calling by Rita Gray – This beautifully illustrated book shows us the marvel of natural cooperation between plants, animals, and insects as they each play their part in the forest’s cycle of life.

Maker sure to check out more of our favorite flower finds, here.


* This post contains Amazon Affiliate links.


With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.


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  1. Such a fun activity Mariah and beautifully displayed.
    I will have to look up the names in Hungarian but my kids will love this project. We are expecting rain in the afternoon and this will keep them busy! 😉

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