Around the nation, the vast majority of states have closed their schools. More than 123,000 schools are closed or are scheduled to close, impacting more than 55 million students.
Chances are that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has impacted your community, including your customers.
Now that school-aged children are home 24/7, many parents are suddenly faced with keeping their kids entertained, busy and learning. The good news is: help is available! Many companies are offering teachers and schools access to their online platforms for free for the duration of their closure. In the short term, a new education landscape is forming. Online resources and groups have popped up online, and the public education and homeschooling community is offering suggestions to parents all over the web. A quick search netted a list of free online resources for schools, educators, and administrators to help them navigate these unfamiliar waters.
But what can florists do to support these families? Our industry is often multi-generational, with parents and children often working side by side. and plenty of kids have grown up inside of flower shops. If you raised kids in your flower shop or if you grew up in a florist, you’ve already got a leg up for ideas. These activities are great for anytime you need a low-cost activity for kids, so go ahead and save them away for a rainy day or a future Girl Scout visit.
Flower Dye Kits
Retail florists are likely familiar with this common, elementary school science project. Dying flowers with food coloring! Sarah LoBue AIFD, of Main Street Floral and Gifts in Carlinville, IL has a great project for families at home that they can do with simple white daisy stems and food coloring.
CLICK HERE for a video she made with her two daughters demonstrating how to do the fun flower experiment with littles.
Shops who are still making contactless deliveries, give it a go! Grocery stores will remain open throughout this crisis, so if your shop is closed up at the moment, this is still an idea you can share with your social media followers. With Easter just around the corner, many families may already have food coloring in their pantry.
Seed Starting and Bulb Planting Projects
While Spring has officially begun, for a lot of the country it is probably a bit too chilly out to be planting outdoors. But it’s never too soon to start seeds or plant bulbs indoors! Both activities are also really fun science experiments for kids, and bulbs and seeds are easy to come by in grocery stores and home improvement stores this time of year. Starting seeds is a fun way to show kids where their food or flowers come from, they can plant it outside once it warms up.
Plant Your Own Bulb kits is another fun activity that still-delivering florists can offer to their community. Main Street Florist had planned an in-person bulb planting class that suddenly had to go digital. They offered bulbs kits to their community, for curbside pickup or contactless delivery and then hosted an online class for those who’d planned on attending. How lucky are we that we can stay so connected throughout this?
This next great idea came from Cyndi Ecker, of Eckers Flowers and Greenhouses in Waverly, IA. When her iconic mother, the great Bobbi Ecker-Blatchford AIFD, passed away, they discovered cases upon cases of votive cups in her vast collection of vessels she’d gathered throughout her career educating and entertaining florists everywhere. Like any good florist, Cyndi brought the votive cups home to Iowa, where the idea of ‘Flower Shots’ coalesced in the design room.
Cyndi & Bruce will be doing a webinar next week.
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Stems get broken all the time, don’t they? An odd bit of foliage, a rose head, a mum bud, they often wind up in a vase or chunk of leftover foam where they sit until they’re too tired and wind up in the bin. Light bulb! Cyndi saw the little chunks of foam designers were cutting away all day and paired them with the leftover bits of florist foil from wrapping plants and the many votive cups… Flower Shots were born.
Often sold as an impulse item, a quick $4 add on to an order, made entirely from surplus and scrap, the Flower Shots took off in their community. People started buying them as hostess gifts, as party favors for guest tables at showers, lunches and teas. Now, she’s selling them to families with children who are at home for a fun creative craft to help break up the boredom when it sets in. They drop off boxes of them at the local nursing home to keep residents busy as well. Flower Shots are cheap, cheery and fun for the whole family!
Will floristry living at the intersection of art and science, there are so many fun and flowery projects to bond over at home! What ideas are you sharing with your community? Or if you grew up in a flower shop, what activities do you remember liking the best?