At Today’s Family, we believe that outdoor exploration and play is incredibly important to early childhood development. That means that Today’s Family Children spend a lot of time outdoors, running around and exploring their surroundings, which means they spend a lot of time around plants.
A curious question was all it took for our Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) to leap upon a new opportunity for learning. While outside one day, watering our vegetable garden, one child asked “how do plants drink the water?”
The next day, our team of ECEs had created a science experiment designed to teach the children how plants draw water from the ground and although we first tried it last fall, it’s perfect for February as we get ready for Valentine’s Day.
Our ECEs brought in a bouquet of white carnations, some cups, and some food colouring. The children filled the cups with water and added different colours of food colouring to the water, and then put one carnation in each cup.
And then they waited.
By the time adults were showing up to pick up their children, the flowers were beginning to change colours. When the children arrived for the before school program, the flowers had become even more colourful. And when school was over, the flowers had gotten even brighter!
The ECEs were able to explain that plants use their roots to draw water up the stem and into the flower’s petals, and that’s what happens when you water the plants. They even learned the scientific word: capillary action. Furthermore, the children learned that even without roots, plants can still drink water. After all, the proof was right in front of their eyes!
The children can’t wait to do this experiment again, this time with different variables, like adding more food colouring to the water or trying different flowers like roses and tulips to see if the effect is the same. This is exactly the type of learning we are always excited to see.
And as you consider how to celebrate Valentine’s Day, think about trying this experiment with your kids. Be sure to add extra amounts of red food colouring to your water create your very own Valentine bouquet. It’s something every family will love on a day that’s all about love!