Spring time is in full swing, with flowers blooming, trees budding, and insects humming - so it's a great time to learn about plants!
Ms. Debbie found an activity online that looked very promising,so I tried it at home over the weekend, to see if it would work for our preschoolers.
The website suggested submerging leaves in water, then waiting to see the bubbles of oxygen that the leaves produce. What a cool idea! I tried it out with 7 different leaves that I had on hand in the garden, to see which one(s) would best demonstrate the phenomena.
I found that the herb leaves were too small to show it well, but large flat leaves were great! After one hour I could see some bubbles, and after 2 hours there were a lot.
I carefully set everything up, in 3 separate bowls, so lots of kiddos could see at the same time.
Unfortunately, with our tables being jostled by 90+ people in the room, any bubbles that formed soon were knocked free. This would make a great activity to do at home, or with a small group, but didn't go as planned for our kiddos. If you work with children though, you know this isn't the end of the story. I'll come back to it shortly!
At the other end of one of the table I set up another awesome plant experience for our children. There were large bean seeds that had been soaking for 2 days (I recommend 3 or even 4 days if you can), plus pea pods, seed diagrams, and magnifying glasses.
The children were encouraged to carefully open the pea pods, and to pull apart the beans and peas to discover their various parts. The seed coats on the beans came off fairly easily, and splitting the seeds revealed the embryonic plants waiting inside. They kiddos were fascinated!
So how did that interact with the oxygen experiment going on further down the table? Soup, of course! If you have peas and beans and leaves and rocks and water, of course the children are going to create "soup"! I didn't witness the process, but was delighted to find the result - because it is so very typical of this age group, and a resourceful young child found a way to turn my "dud" of an experiment into a developmentally appropriate experience. The children are always teaching me new things!
The library has some amazing resources - available for check out! - including kits full of thematic learning ideas. We pulled out all kinds of science materials to explore, including natural items....
The rubber stamps were a huge hit, and a lot of our friends went home with green thumbs... and green fingers too!
Finally, to take advantage of the lovely spring weather, we had some seriously hands on activities outside! There were soil and tiny cups for the children to plant a real bean seed to take home and water, and there was dirt to PLAY in!
Sunshine and dirt, books and families... the recipe for a perfect spring day!