Children make folded paper flowers to float on water and investigate how quickly the flowers unfold. Working outside not only means less mess but also gives more space so that all children can carry out this activity using a range of containers, including bowls, trays and ice-cream tubs. Paper is made from fibres which can absorb water and swell. The paper surface in contact with the water expands, causing the flower petals to open. Different papers have different types of fibres and so absorb water at different rates. Once outside children float the closed flower on the water in either a water tray or a plastic bowl. The investigation provides an opportunity for children to communicate using the foreign language that they are learning at school. Children could use an online translation website to find out the required phrases and their pronunciation.