Exploring Plants - Science for Kids
Spring with the new plants and growth is perfect to start or to continue exploring science with you kids no matter how old they are. Last year we explored how plants drink with J using a daffodil that he picked from the garden but this year with no daffodils in the garden yet in bloom I used some flowers that I had been brought with T to explore how plants drink.
What you need to set up the simple science for kids experiment
Food colouring in different colours
How to explore how plants drink
I used some tumblers to container our flowers - but any jar or see through container is perfect (bar food jars are wonderful for this). In the container add some food colouring (liquid is best) and then add water. Cut off the flowers to a suitable length for the jar and put in.
Keep your plants on the side and then after around 24 hours look at how they have changed. You will notice that our green and yellow didn't work - I believe this is due to the particles in the food colouring were too large to be drawn up the tubes in the plant stems.
This is such a simple science experiment to do and one that we did every year as a child during Spring. I remember doing it with daffodils, roses, carnations, daisies and tulips all of them work well, it's one of those memories that stick in my mind from Springtime and being a child.
The science behind it is that plants draw up water through their stems via vessels - there are two the xylem and the phloem - the xylem is used to transport water and nutrients from the soil around the plant and the phloem is used to transport nutrient around the plant. The plant transpires through their leaves and petals moving the water up through the xylem to the petals. In the food colouring the colouring in the water gets drawn up as well and concentrates in the petals as it evaporates from them.
Check out how well it works with Daffodils from our Science for kids - Spring Experiment from last year. - With a daffodil you can see easily where the water evaporates from and after around 48 hours all of the vessels are visible on the reverse of the petals stained "green/blue"