Spring is the ideal time to do some plant science with your toddlers and preschoolers. From growing beans in a jar to see the roots to looking at the conditions that plants needs to grow. However, one of my favourite experiments to do is to look at plants drinking.
Daffodils are an ideal plant to use with toddlers and preschoolers as you can often find them and the paler the daffodil or narsius the better the results of this simple experiment will be. So here we go a simple plant science experiment for toddlers and preschoolers to look at how plants drink.
If you are looking to explore this more in-depth exploring the process and examining the xylem and phloem in detail, then it is much easier to do this with a transpiration experiment with celery.
We always called this is the daffodil experiment as children and we would repeat it every spring to remind us of the fact that plants use the stems to “drink” up the water. It’s really easy to set up and the effect can be fantastic.
Materials Needed for this Simple Plant Science Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Daffodil (the paler the better)
- Food colouring – a none natural food colouring works better as the particles are smaller and can travel up the stem
This experiment can also be done with carnations which are an excellent flower for seeing the movement of the water through the stem check out our How do Plants Drink Experiment for preschool for more information.
How to Set up your Spring Science Experiment for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- In a jar mix together your water and food colouring
- Cut the daffodil stem at an angle and place in the water
- Put the daffodil on a windowsil
- Wait 24 – 48 hours
- Examine the petals of the daffodil
What you will find is that the daffodil petals have got at the minimum small dots around the outside of them the colour of the food colouring. If you have a thin and pale daffodil then you will also probably be able to see the vessels in the petals that the water and food colouring has travelled up.
Don’t forget to check out the transpiration experiment linked in the green box above for a full explanation of the science behind this simple science for toddlers and preschoolers.
Books to Read Alongside this Experiment
We love to combine books with our activities and have picked 3 of our favourite books that are great to share with your toddlers and preschoolers whilst you carry out this experiment.
Check out our best books about spring for even more seasonal reading and picture books for your kids.
We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.
- Bee and Me by Elle J McGuiness
- Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner
- Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
More Simple Science for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Science for toddlers and preschoolers is all about exploring the world around and introducing them to it through fun hands on activities why not try some of these other ideas that are simple and easy to do.
- Grow a Bean Stalk in a Jar to look at the roots of plants
- Watch water beads grow as they absorb water
- Observe the life cycle of the frog with a tadpole observation tank
More Ideas for Daffodils
If you have a few daffodils apart from observing them in the garden and picking for indoors how about trying some of these other ideas.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.