Over spring break, our ScienceQuest Camps are going to be all about the great outdoors. We’ll get our hands dirty with a gardening day, explore the color green for St. Patrick’s Day, and learn about our planet and how to protect it. Campers are lucky enough to be THE FIRST group to use our new outdoor learning area, Galactic Gardens, and we can’t wait to spend some time outside!
Can’t make it to camp? Check out this fun activity that you can try at home:
Many plants start their life in greenhouses. A greenhouse is a structure (or balloon!) that protects plants from harsh elements like strong rains, wind, and cold temperatures. These buildings are usually made of glass or clear plastic to let in sunlight, and keep the atmosphere inside warm and moist. These conditions are perfect for delicate plants and seedlings, some gardeners start all of their plants in a greenhouse and then gradually move them outside.
- Clear Balloon
- Seeds (we use Radish)
- 1/2 cup dirt
- 1/4 cup water
- String or Ribbon
- Place your funnel into neck of the balloon and slowly pour dirt through the funnel into the balloon.
- Add a bit of water to moisten the dirt in the balloon and drop a few seeds into the dirt.
- Remove the funnel and blow up the balloon. (Be careful not to overinflate!)
- Knot the balloon and tie the string or ribbon around the knot.
- Hang your greenhouse near a window to allow the sun to help the seeds sprout.
Questions to Consider:
- If you could plant anything in your garden, what would you plant?
- What do plants need in order to grow?
- How do you think the idea of greenhouses started?
- Why do we need plants?
- What do we use in everyday life that comes from plants? (clothes, food, wood for buildings, etc…)
- Make balloon greenhouses with different kinds of seeds, making sure to label each balloon. Keep a journal and note the differences between the seedlings
- Add varying numbers of seeds to each balloon. Do seeds grow better when they are alone or with other seeds? What’s the ideal number of seeds per balloon?
- Put balloon greenhouses in different windows around your house. Do seedlings grow better in east-facing windows or west-facing? This is a great chance to talk about directions, the Earth’s rotation, and how important the Sun is!