Legend of the Bluebonnet project Texas history geography kinder 1st 4th 7th

How did Texas get such great bluebonnets every spring?

There are some things that just scream TEXAS.  One of those is the sight of bluebonnets covering the fields come March through early April.  Every Texan who came up through elementary school here can tell you “The Legend of the Bluebonnet,” and Tomie dePaola wrote an amazing picture book for it, that inspired this Legend of the Bluebonnet craft.  I remember being a teacher’s aid showing five-year-olds how to do this when I was in high school, so this and making cowboy writing prompts are the quintessential Texas projects.


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Legend of the Bluebonnet


In The Legend of the Bluebonnet* there’s a great drought and a village asks what they can do to save their village.  No one is willing to, until one young girl gives away her greatest possession.

Legend of the Bluebonnet activity

After reading the story we talked about sacrifice and what we would sacrifice if we had to sacrifice our most precious thing.


Then we went through and drew and wrote what was sacrificed (if you want the printable print p. 4 of the printable and cut apart between the 2 columns). The download is in the subscriber page.

Alamo bluebonnet

They all drew what she gave away, and I loved what they would give up.  Princess and Superman (I think) were going to give up their Bible as their most precious thing.  Batman was going to give up his punching ball which he had just gotten.


Isn’t that the most adorable thing ever?

Quick Side Note on this great Texas project

As I’m going through and updating old posts, I realized I did this project TWICE with my kids. Once when they were super duper little, and a second time when they were slightly older. Now, in the interests of not having the same post twice, and because the pictures were so darn cute. I’m giving you a slightly different take on this project.

So, I send you back in time to February 2010 when my kids were significantly shorter than me, which is no longer the case in 2020:

I asked the kids what their most precious treasure was, and what would be hard for them to give up.  At first they were all about giving away their sister’s stuff.  The boys were quite sure she wouldn’t mind that.
So, after much searching, they all found their precious dolls, and I took a picture of them in it.  I then pasted the picture into a word document and scaled it so I could have two of them side by side on the bottom half of the paper.  I printed this out, and cut it into two separate pieces, and folded these papers in half like a card.

Original fingerprint bluebonnet instructions from that post

Now, I got out the blue paint we made a special trip to the store to find.  Blue is Superman’s favorite color so we go through a lot of blue. And a green marker.  I drew a line to represent the stem, and then had them make fingerprints all around it for the bluebonnet.  Oh, and we used just a little bit of white paint to give the projects the occasional bit of difference in the blues.  Again, this is one of those projects every kid in Texas makes, so it’s not super original.

Princess really was not going to cooperate with the whole make fingerprints and really wanted to fingerpaint.  She did eventually put a whole handprint on half of the paper.
And here’s the finished projects that I got pictures of.  Including mine, which I made so I wouldn’t keep telling the kids they were doing it wrong, and instead just let them enjoy themselves.

legend of the bluebonnet minibook

So, that’s a slightly different version of the fingerprint bluebonnet craft

Legend of the Bluebonnet Craft

Supplies needed for your Legend of the Bluebonnet craft: blue tempera paint*, white tempera paint*, your fingers, paper plates* to act as palettes, if doing this in a classroom situation baby wipes*


Let’s draw/paint this thing.

  1. Draw a green line down the middle of your page at a slight diagonal.
  2. Dip your finger in the blue paint and make fingerprints in small clusters around the top of your green line
  3. Dip the end of your finger in white paint.  Make small occasional dots of white paint on your flowers
  4. Sit back and smile at your results.

There’s the simple how to of doing it.  Of course the how to does not guarantee the same results……..


Superman, who is much more my perfectionist created a near perfect copy of my bluebonnet example.


Princess, who has her own artistic vision, created an impressionistic bluebonnet.


Batman, who was feeling silly that day, created a unique bluebonnet.

And that’s okay, they all created the project they were proud of, and I was proud of them for their work.

I’m a firm believer that art and crafts is about the process not the product.  I tell them over and over and over again it’s not about how perfect it is, it’s about if you did your best.  If you did your best working on it, then I’m happy and I won’t make you do it again, but if you were being sloppy, I will make you redo it.

Legend of the bluebonnet craft for preschool

More wildflower inspiration for little kids

I’m working with several other bloggers to bring you more wildflower ideas.

legend of the bluebonnet (1)

If you want more great resources visit the home base of our Free Unit Studies and find 60+ topics and 100’s of fun and informative blog posts.

More Texas fun

Photo by David Holifield on Unsplash

Other post was originally posted February 11, 2010, but it’s now redirected here…


16 responses to “How did Texas get such great bluebonnets every spring?”

  1. Oh, I love the bluebonnets art project!

  2. I completely agree with your philosophy on art projects and tell my children something similar every time we do an art project. Love the art project that you did with this book!

  3. Those bluebonnets are beautiful! Oh, and Things that go Boom on Pinterest??! Ha! Ha! Love it!

  4. maryanne @ mama smiles Avatar
    maryanne @ mama smiles

    LOVE your last paragraph in this post. That’s my approach, as well.

  5. Interesting point about doing your best. Anna sometimes starts the project with great enthusiasm but gets sloppier as it progresses. Other times she sticks with something for a really long time. We enjoyed Bluebonnet book, but it’s pretty sad.

  6. As a Texan, I can appreciate the finger bluebonnet! I haven’t read the book yet, but I might have to, eventually. In fact, I might try the finger bluebonnet on canvas to hang up. It looks so pretty!

    1. Oh if you can, find a copy. It’s such a charming book to read.

  7. This sounds like a great book! The flowers came out beautiful, but I love how you stress that it’s not the finished product that matters. The process of making the art is important too!

    1. It really is, and I learned very early with my kids to let go of the perfect product because my kids ALL have very strong visions of how they want projects to turn out.

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