SCIENCE ACTIVITY {OUTDOOR PLAY}

Science and outdoor play-what could be better on a warm spring day.

by Quirky Momma

With winter snows finally melting to provide moisture and create a much-anticipated growth spurt to plants, this lesson provides a connection between the two seasons.

Kids Activities Blog is excited to welcome Ella as Quirky Momma for the day! She’s here to share this great cattail science activity and hopes you have fun getting involved in this outdoor science activity with the kids!

SCIENCE ACTIVITY

Materials needed:

  • Intact cattail
  • Bag of cattail seeds that have been removed from the stalk
  • Magnifying glass

Instructions:

  1. Show the intact cattail to the children. Explain that there are many seeds tightly packed together on the stalk.
    Ask: Would these seeds grow into new cattails on the stalk? Why or why not? How can we make it easier for the seeds to grow into a new cattail plant?
  2. Gather the children into the center of a circle in the middle of the room or playground, having them stand close together.
  3. Ask the child in the middle of the group to walk to the outside of the circle.
    Ask: Was it difficult or easy to walk out of the circle? Why?
  4. Have the children move so that they are arm distance apart from each other.
  5. Now ask the child in the middle of the circle to walk to the outside of the circle.
    Ask: Why was it easier to walk outside of the circle when you were far apart?
  6. Use a magnifying glass to view the seeds inside the plastic bag.
  7. Explain that the fibers around the seeds help them to become airborne and attach themselves in a new place to grow.
  8. If the activity is conducted outside, release the seeds from the bag to show how they are dispersed by the breeze.
  9. Repeat step four, encouraging the children to pretend they are seeds flying in the breeze.

Extension Activities:

  1. Conduct a nature walk to find other seeds similar to cattail seeds-dandelion, cottonwood, as well as other seeds.
  2. After the nature walk, have the children sort the seeds they have found by the way in which they could be dispersed. For example, many seeds are spread by birds when they are eaten and digested. Which seeds could fit into this category?

After teaching for many years and raising two wonderful sons, Ella found a love for helping her sister create activities and figure out new ways to educate her home schooled niece.

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