Because we live in a world where technology seems to take over all of our time, we need to make time to teach your children about the beauty and the mysteries of nature. One way in which this can be done is by conducting science experiments that are both fun and informative. If you are short on ideas, here are some hands-on plant activities that you can try at home with your children.
If you have the means, you can use microscopes and other devices, you can find some models on opticsandlab.com, to show your children the unseen beauty of plants. For instance, you can use a microscope to view onion skin, seeds, and even celery fibers up close.
Microscopy is an ideal activity to do with children because it is very engaging and, thus, they won’t get bored easily.
A popular activity that kindergarten kids might like involves the process of germination. For this, you can use egg cartons, plant seeds, scissors, a waterproof plate, potting soil and coffee grounds.
Start by mixing the potting soil with the coffee grounds first. For best results, combine these two ingredients in equal quantities. Next, use scissors to cut the egg carton apart. Now, it is time to fill half of each egg cup with the soil and grounds mixture.
Then, add the seeds inside of the cups. However, make sure that you do not add too many seeds into each egg cup, as this will, later on, cause overcrowding and the plants will die. If you decide to plant squash, you should only place one or two seeds in each cup. Cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil.
Once you complete this task, you are almost done. All you need to do is to place the seed cups in the waterproof plate and water the seeds. To avoid adding too much water, you can simply put some water inside the plate. The egg cups will soak up just the right quantity of water that the seeds need.
Finally, put the seed cups in an area that is well lit, preferably near the window and water them regularly. In no time, you will start to see the plants sprout and grow. When the plants outgrow the seed cups, you can plant them in the yard. As you carry out this experiment, you can take the time to explain to your children what are the necessary conditions for plants to grow.
To teach your kid about the process through which water travels through a plant, you can do the dyed flower experiment. For this activity, you will need a few stems of white-colored flowers such as carnations, chrysanthemums or gerberas, different food coloring and a couple of jars that are filled with water.
The experiment is pretty simple and it always gets that wow reaction from children. So, start by filling each jar with water. Then, color the water in each jar by using the food colorants. Next, place the flowers in and wait for about an hour.
To make the experiment even more entertaining, you can encourage your child to draw the flowers before and after. This fun activity is perfect for kindergarten children in particular.
Apart from fun experiments like the ones we have presented above, you can also teach your children to love nature by taking them on trips, hikes, and visits at the local botanical garden. Spending time in nature can help your children build self-confidence and it teaches them problem-solving. Besides, it has many other health benefits!