Saturday, March 22, 2008

Plant Experiments for Kids

We've wrapped up our plant unit. It was a lot of fun with good books and some fun experiments that are still in the works. Here are a couple of the experiments we did.

Remember these guys? I posted about them on March 10th after buying them for $2.49 each at JoAnn's fabrics. The original experiment called for growing grass in a cake pan but we thought these were much more fun.

Here's what they looked like 2 days ago. We were shocked to have grass growing in just 2 days and this wonderful long "hair" in just a week. Sammy's grass hair is yellow because the experiment was to see what would happen to a plant that didn't get any sunlight. So, once the grass was 1/2 inch tall, we placed the poor Grasshead (as we now call them) into the bread box. The yellow hair actually looks kind of cool! Sammy has since trimmed its hair to look like his own, a buzz cut. Mika's elephant is currently sporting pigtails.

This experiment involved planting bean seeds inside a glass jar full of wet paper towels. The paper towels provided moisture and also held the seeds against the glass so that we could see them. Once the bean seeds began growing roots and we could see that they were growing downward, we turned the jar upside down to see what would happen. Well, the roots pulled a fast u-turn. You can see it best near the top of the jar where the blue arrow is pointing.

Not a good photo at all but this was in impromptu experiment. After making guacamole a few days ago, we decided to see if we could sprout the avocado seed. Nothing yet. I understand they make good house plants for a few years until they grow too big to remain indoors (they ARE a tree, after all).

My kids love experiments so this was a good unit for them. Next week we begin rocks (I've got to plan it over the weekend). I'm pretty sure we'll be making edible "rocks" to see how different kinds of rocks are formed and growing a few crystals.

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Michelle Olsen Sasak said...

The plant experiments look great! I think Sammy's yellow-haired Grass Head is pretty cool, and I'd love to see Mika's in pigtails :)

Mark Chipkin said...

I thought your families that homeschool would enjoy an educational indoor gardening adventure, growing the TickleMe Plant (Mimosa pudica). This activity was featured recently by the National Gardening Associations Kids Store,
If you want to give your homeschoolers an experience they will never forget, consider having them grow a TickleMe Plant. This is the plant that will close its leaves and lower its branches when you tickle it. They sprout in days and can be grown indoors any time of year. Just Google TickleMe Plants or go to for seeds and growing kits. The TickleMe Plant will encourage your child’s interest in plants and respect for nature.