All you need for this activity is a jar, some water, a bit of food colouring and some white flowers (carnations and daisies work well).
- To a vase or jar filled with water, add 20-30 drops of food colouring and stir until the water is the colour of the food colouring
- Cut the stem of each flower diagonally to encourage them to absorb water for hydration
- Add two or three lightly coloured flowers – ideally white carnations as you will really see the results
- Now sit back and watch the magic happen!
- Check every few hours and you will begin to see the effects take place
After about 6 hours you will notice the tips of the petals changing colour. Once you have enjoyed the flowers, cut down the stems to show children how the flower has absorbed the coloured water up the stem. You can explain the importance of watering flowers and looking after them.
Make a garden pinwheel
Encouraging children to enjoy plants and gardening from a young age helps educate them and is a healthy and inexpensive way to have fun at home or school. Research shows that children who learn to grow their own fruit and vegetables develop a greater interest in healthy eating.
Spring is a wonderful time for planting seeds and flowers but as they begin to grow it was can difficult to remember which seeds are which.
Why not make a gardening pinwheel to help young children recognise the seed they have planted? This will help to eradicate any confusion, and will leave little ones feeling proud of their accomplishments in the garden.
You will need – ruler, scotch tape, thumbtack, square piece of coloured card or thick paper and a pencil.
- Choose your coloured card – it needs to be roughly 30m x 30cm to make a nice sized pinwheel.
- Draw a line across from one corner to the other and repeat on the opposite two corners – this should form an X.
- Make a mark roughly a third of the distance from the centre of the X on each of the four lines.
- Cut down each line stopping at the mark, leaving the centre of the X complete.
- Now decorate each quad with a reminder of the seed you have planted. It might be you’ve planted tomatoes or carrots, so draw yourself a reminder – be sure to keep to the left-hand side.
- Now, fold down the right side of each quad and tape in the middle – your pinwheel should be forming now.
- Just add the thumbtack and your perfect pinwheel is complete. Your child can now enjoy the fruits and vegetable of his labour!
At ELF, we offer some resources to help with getting children outside and involved in gardening.