Toddler Science – Exploring plants

Last week was glorious in the UK – we were out in the garden most of everyday playing with the various toys that we have for the garden and that J and T brought outside but the inevitable happened…. J picked one of our Daffodils – I remember doing the same as a child and mum turned it into a mini science experiment for us so I decided to do the same for J.

Toddler Science Exploring Plants

What you need to explore plants for some toddler science

Some food colouring (not the colour of the picked flower)

How to explore plants for some toddler science

Exploring plants

J examining the plant that he had picked - yes he's looking at the pollen on his fingers

Once J had picked the Daffodil from the garden we looked at the flower and I pointed out the petals and then where the nectar is – he knew this from his book –Bee and Me: a Mini-motion Book which he got for his birthday last year and loves to read as the pages move.

Toddler Science Experiment set up

J watching over his science experiment just out of reach

Then I put the flower into a glass jar with some water which I had added some blue liquid food colouring to – I added blue as from experience I knew that the colours would mix and green J’s favourite colour would be formed before the bright blue colouring took over. I then put it on a window sill out of J’s reach but within sight so we could see the experiment in action.

Daffodil science experiment for toddlers

J loved the dots around the petals and trumpet

After 2 days the process had completely finished and with the Daffodil flower there was a ring of blue/green dots around the outer edge of the petals and trumpet, as well as some lighter green colouring to the veins within the petals which the food colouring had gone through.

Toddler Science experiment results

Daffodil showing the progress of the blue food colouring

I explained to J that the flower was drinking the water and you could see where it went by following the blue colour up the stem and into the petals he loved this idea and asks plants that he sees in the garden whether they are thirsty now and if he decides they say yes he goes and waters them. If you want to find out about the actual science behind why this works then check out this post from Science Sparks. All plants do this but some flowers are more effective than others – daffodils produce an interesting pattern as you can see above but Carnations are amazing for the colour impact that the flowers have.


Spring flower science for toddlers

Please remember that the bulbs of daffodils are toxic and hands should always be washed thoroughly after handling flowers of any description

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Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and now mum. She's passionate about supporting learning at school at home, bringing books alive, giving kids life skills and exploring the world around us sharing Creative, Family Friendly, Fun Ideas for the whole family on Rainy Day Mum


  1. carol says

    You and P always loved doing this as did the children in school. I’m sure that J enjoyed it. All the science projects you are doing are great for building up observation skills and scientific curiousity. You could also try celery for this experiment.


  1. […] Toddler science experiment – exploring plants | Rainy Day Mum J picked one of our Daffodils – I remember doing the same as a child and mum turned it into a mini science experiment for us so I decided to do the same for J. Montage Message Board From a CardBoard Box My Profile . blue worked much better than orange and purple. We decided the secret was not to skimp on dye or time to absorb :). Pictures of our results (I took photos every 12 hours) here: // Cerys @ Rainy Day Mum . […]