This week we are learning about plants and water (page 6 in Science With Plants). In order to discover how water travels through plants, we did the color changing daisy experiment. I have read that carnations are a great flower for this experiment, but we have daisies growing everywhere around our house, so we went the free route!
The first step in the experiment is to trim the stems of the daisy and place in a glass of water. Then add your choice of food coloring. We only added about 4 drops of food coloring. If we were to try this again, I would add more to see if it would produce more vibrant colors.
I let the kids choose whatever colors they wanted for their flowers. Then, after adding the coloring, they swirled the flower around in the glass to mix the color and water together. While it’s probably not necessary, they love mixing things, so I made sure that was a step in the project.
We left one daisy in plain water as our control flower. Then I set the flowers on the windowsill overnight. I checked on them just a couple of hours after setting them out and could already see evidence of color in the petals, so you can definitely do this experiment in one day if desired.
Here is a look at Connor’s blue and green daisies. While it didn’t color the entire petal, it was obvious that the water had traveled through the flower. We used the example that the stem of the flower was similar to a straw that sucks the water up.
The red was the most vibrant of all the flowers. This may be partially due to the fact that Jenna put A LOT of red coloring into the water. This is a magnified picture of the red petals. The yellow in the picture is remnants from inspecting the center of the flower.
After our experiment, I had Jenna record what we did in her science journal. I drew the graph with the three columns, and she had to figure out and write what the three steps to the experiment were. When we do work in her science journal, I usually let her try to sound the words out on her own. I help with spelling only when she asks, or when a word is completely unrecognizable.
(The steps were: Put daisy in water, add food coloring, and wait to change.)
Overall, this was a good simple experiment to do with the kids. It doesn’t take much prep time at all, and doesn’t take long for the actual experiment, making it perfect for kids with short attention spans!