Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Patriotic Flower Science

This week's Toddler Series theme is red, white and blue, patriotic themed activities. Suzy Homeschooler is sharing a Patriotic Sensory Bin! Be sure to stop by and check it out!

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Originally we had intended to share a red, white and blue themed water sensory bin today (we'll share it later this week instead). However, after our trip to the park yesterday, we were inspired to create a different activity!

If you look closely, Munchkin is holding a tiny white flower. And speckled in the grass around their favorite rock are many more of those flowers. They are called white clovers and are very common in our area.

Munchkin adores them. Every time we visit the park he picks one and will literally carry it around the entire time he's at the park. He doesn't put it down, or put it in his pocket. He holds on to it and eventually brings it inside to put in his flower pot. Too cute, right?

Bean decided to join in and they picked a handful of white clovers. I asked them if they would like to see if they could change the color of the flower petals. And of course they were interested!

We decided to try two colors, red and blue, to keep with our patriotic theme. The yellow paint cup is for the white flowers, a) because we need a white batch and b) because this way they can compare the changes.

Bean poured red and blue food coloring into the matching paint cups. We used these Spill Proof Paint Cups from Melissa & Doug, because they are great for activities like this! Sadly they don't have any with a white top, so yellow will have to do.

The stems of these flowers are thin, which is also why we chose these cups, because it holds them up fairly well. And if you never knew, they smell lovely! My kids love that they have flowers in the windowsill and keep running over to check on them and smell them! (We have basil and mint growing in the next window, so this is a fairly regular habit.)

By the following morning you can see that the white clovers are just now changing color! 

This is a fun, simple science activity for toddlers! Toddlers love to pick flowers (at least I've never met one that doesn't) and they can learn about science in this easy-to-do experiment! 

What's going on? Water evaporates from the surface of the petals and leaves. The stems pull water up through their roots (usually in the ground), or their stems, as is the case with this experiment. The process is called transpiration. The white flower is drawing water through their xylem, which are vein-like tubes through their stem and leaves. The water is dyed, so it colors the petals.

This may be tough for a toddler to comprehend, so we simply used this as an observational science experiment! You can add to the experiment by giving them flower printables to color in their color predictions for each batch!

We'll update with pictures when these flowers are more colorful!

Be sure to come back next week to see what Toddler Activities we will be sharing!

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