Design a plant

This activity asks learners to design a plant that will help with a chosen location or ‘problem’ they may have identified in their site. An introduction to creative thinking and problem solving, this activity allows children and young people to express what is important to them, and how they might like their site to be improved.

This activity can take place outside in the area being focused on for improvement, or back in the classroom.  

For early years, this activity can introduce learners to the different features of a plant, before creating their own plants through different creative mediums.  

Making decisions

< 30 minutes
All ages


What you need
  • Plain paper 
  • Pencils and pens 
  • Plant features PowerPoint 

For EYFS, you may also want: 

  • Paints 
  • Cut-out shapes of paper to represent leaves, petals, fruit 


Useful guidance

Step by step

  1. As an introduction, recap on what you have found out about your site so far. What is it we would like to change? Are there problem areas or opportunities for things to be improved for nature and people?  
  2. Display and talk through the plant features slides to introduce the concept of plants’ appearances having different functions and uses – for both nature and people! These examples can help to guide learners’ plant designs. 
  3. You may want to ask learners to work in pairs to discuss their ideas, and what they might like to focus on. Learners will have 15 minutes to ‘design a plant’ on their own sheet of paper that will help address one/some of these issues – do we need plants that are calming for children and young people? Plants that will attract pollinators? Plants that are tall and hide an unsightly view? Plants that smell nice?  
  4. Ask learners to label their plant features and what they are for. For early years, encourage learners to explain why they’ve chosen each part of their plant – does it provide shelter for bugs, colour to attract pollinators? 


After sharing and discussing each other’s designs, what are the similarities or differences between our ideas? Have any of us thought about the same issues we’d like to tackle? Have we designed any similar plants? How could we put our ideas together to make decisions for our Nature Park? 

This activity can link to Ideas for improvement, where learners can begin to think about actions and interventions suitable for their site.