Our five year old is now in her second full year at school – year 1. Shes already commenting on how different it is compared to Reception last year, where they learnt through play. Now it is more structured and she is already coming home discussing where we live and asking questions about Volcanoes.
Children in general have short attention spans, so I find she learns best when she has to complete experiments. This also teaches her responsibility; an example of this is she grew some Sunflowers at the beginning of the year. They didn’t start off well because of where she placed the plant pot. This gave us an opportunity to teach her about how plants need the sun to help them grow, as well as water. This has stuck with her and she now explains this to her friends and anyone she sees gardening!
Ironically we’ve just completed another plant-themed experiment – this time teaching her about how plants use transpiration to suck up water. The results are colourful pieces of celery!
To do this, we added food colouring into different glasses of water – let your child experiment with strengths. So if they want to try 10 drops of red, and 4 drops of yellow, let them and see what happens. TIP – cut the stems of the celery diagonally. This will allow a larger surface area for the coloured water to pass through.
Within 30 minutes to 1 hour, you will see the dye traveling up the stems and beginning to turn the celery a different shade. Several hours passed and the leaves were full of colour representing the dye. She noticed the lines of colour going up the stems of the Celery and came to the conclusion that these were the main channels for the water to reach the leaves.
A simple, yet effective visual demonstration for children of all ages to be wowed by. It will teach them about how water moves through a plant and also adapts them to the world of science, by making comparisons with other colours and hypothesising.