Exploring Plants at Home
Plants are important. Without them, nothing else could live on Earth. Encourage your child to talk with you about what she or he has discovered about plants, how they grow, and how we use some of them. Then enjoy sharing some simple plant-growing activities with your child.
Home activities with seeds and plants have a big advantage over school activities. At home, your child can watch with you the beginning-to-end happenings. Together you can watch the whole life cycle of plants, from seed to plant to seed again. If you have use of a small, sunny piece of ground, plant a few dried beans. Let your child keep them watered. Watch for and talk about first sprouts, blossoms, and tiny beans. Eat some of the beans. Save some to dry. Then shell out the beans to plant next year. Bury the vines after they die down. Let them decay and renew the soil for next year’s plants. Consider starting a compost bin for recycling yard wastes.
Bottle Botany. Suspend a fat, single clove of garlic in a small bottle of water, with the pointed tip out of the water. If the clove is too small to wedge firmly into the bottle top, poke three toothpicks into the clove to hang it across the top with the bottom half in the water. Keep the bottle filled with fresh water each day, so the clove stays in the water. Watch for fast, dramatic sprouting and root growth.
Windowsill Gardening. Anytime you prepare fruits for meals, show your child the seeds you find. Soak some citrus seeds in water for a few days. Plant a few in potting soil in a small container. Put it on a sunny windowsill. Let your child give it a little water daily, and watch patiently. Plant a dried bean, a few lentils, or popcorn seeds in other containers. See which seeds grow faster and which plants live longer. Encourage thinking and talking about what happens.
From Harlan & Rivkin, Science Experiences for the Early Childhood Years, 9th ed. Copyright © 2008 by Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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