Flowers and Colors and Cups Full of Water

I have been trying hard lately to find some fun and interesting ways to help the boys get interested in learning new things.  They already both love books and love to read - I need to foster that love and help them explore their world....

When I saw Queen Anne's lace on the side of the road the other day I had an epiphany...

(photo borrowed from this site)

I remember waaaaaaaaaay back in the day when I was little, my mother would pick these beautiful big flowers from the field across the street and put them into cups of colored water.  We would watch the flowers over the hours/days as the petals would change from bright white to whatever they were placed in

As soon as I found a safe place, I pulled the car over and pulled as many as I could (which was harder than I thought it would be - those are some tough stems!!).  The boys and I got home and into the colored water they went.  (we did experiment a bit with what colors make what, like blue + yellow makes green, but I plan to spend more time with that lesson on another day).

Part of me was afraid that it wouldn't work....

In green water - the change was subtle, but quite lovely

Flowers in orange - these were originally in yellow, but that was too faint (guess what color we added :)

Flowers in blue - these were my favorite.

After a few days the flowers were on their way out - but I decided we were still having too much fun with this little project (the boys loved to check them every day).  In comes the celery.  Celery is great for showing with more than color how plants move water up their stem and how the flowers get water (basically why we water the ground and not the plant).  The leaves on the celery are affected in the same way as the flowers and once the celery has pulled up some of the color you can slice into the stalks and see the how the water is moving up the veins.

In blue water after 1 day

In red - making the celery look like its dying, but I promise you it is very alive and seems to be doing quite well

In purple - this one has been pretty cool to watch.  you can see some of the blue on the upper leaves, but on the lower leaves it appears more red, which once again makes the celery look like it is dying.

In green water - sounds a little silly to put a green plant in green water to see the color change but it has made subtle changes to the leaves, causing them to be much brighter.

So that is what the boys and I have been working on the last few days.  We are going to leave the celery for another day or two before we cut into them, make sure the color is really bold so we can really see the water moving up the stalk.

After that, I think I am going to fill some big bottles with red, yellow, and blue colored water, give them some clear plastic cups and let them see how mixing colors works.

Do you have any fun learning projects that you do with your kids?  In what ways do you foster their natural desire to learn and explore (without making it seem like they are working at it)?


  1. I love this! Great ideas. I had forgotten all about this, we did in when I worked in child care years ago.

  2. What a fun project! I love the color on those flowers! I've done the celery before, but never flowers...we may have to give this a try!

  3. That looks like so much foun! We did the same thing with carnations when I was younger, but I think we'll try this at home and show Natey what happens!

  4. I did this with carnations. My kids LOVED it. They each picked their own color. I think the Queen Anne's Lace is prettier. I didn't know it would work with celery.

  5. 字是活的,人和環境的觀察是活的,思想是活的。不管怎樣,就是要有一兩樣是活的。否則都是平庸。..................................................

  6. I love this idea! Now I need to go find some Queen Anne's Lace. My boys will enjoy this as well.


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