In quite a few kindergarten kids; homes, there may be a new baby brother or sister; or your child may have a favorite baby doll. Guess what: seeds send up “baby” shoots, too, and your young scientist can help identify all sorts of parts that will grow up very big one day, just like humans. And as a matter of fact, the parts of a plant happen to be a common unit in kindergarten science. Check out this activity to learn more.
What You Need:
- Several dried lima beans (check the dried beans in your supermarket)
- Dish of water
- Dinner knife
- Magnifying glass
What You Do:
- For this activity, you'll need to start a night ahead. Place a few lima beans in a dish and cover them with water. Leave them on the counter overnight. By the next afternoon, you'll see that they have swelled impressively—often double their size!
- Select a clear table top with good lighting, and lay down a clean paper towel. Help your kindergartener use the dinner knife to split a lima bean gently apart, starting from its rounded side (the other side forms a kind of “hinge” for the seed)
- Invite your young scientist to take a magnifying glass and look with you. Do you see the “baby” plant? At the “hinge” of the seed, check out the start of the root on one end—it's the thick, white fiber—and the more delicate start of the stem of the bean. And all that big white protective seed? That's nutrition for the plant—a protective sac that does a job not too different from the sac that surrounds a human baby!