Bringing Nature Indoors

March is the perfect time to get ready for spring.

The hints of warm weather may have you itching to get outside and enjoy nature but the rain and mud might be keeping you indoors. Don't worry, there are lots of great ways to bring some nature into your house. Here are some awesome activities that you can do with your child to explore the way things grow. And, of course, I included some book recommendations to go along with them!

Growing Lettuce

Supplies: Lettuce (Romaine works best) that has the leaves cut off, shallow bowl of water

Lightly trim the bottom or stalk part and put it in a shallow bowl of water. The middle will actually start to grow leaves again! It takes a few weeks but that could be a lesson in patiences for your child as well. You can turn this into a math activity by measuring how high the leaves grow over time or counting the number of leaves that appear. I recommend reading Muncha, Muncha, Muncha by Candace Fleming with this one.

How Does a Carrot Grow?

Supplies: Glass, water, carrot, red food coloring

Cut the end tip off a carrot and put the carrot in a glass of water near a window that lets in sunshine. Watch it for several days and see if you can see the little hairs growing off the carrot like roots. You can also add blue food coloring to the water. After a week or two, cut the carrot open and you will be able to see red coloring in the tubes of the carrot, going from the bottom to the top. Check out Giant Carrot by Jan Peck as you wait for your carrot to sprout.

Germinating Seeds in a Window

Supplies: Seeds (check out the Nashville Seed Exchange for free, local seeds!), paper towel (white works best), water, sandwich bag

Dampen paper towel and place a small layer of seeds on half of the sheet. Make sure the seeds have some space to grow. Fold the paper towel in half with the seeds on the inside. Then fold it again. Place the damp paper towel inside the plastic sandwich bag and seal. Place in a spot that gets sunlight, like a counter top or window sill. You can even tape it to your window so that it is easier for your child to see. How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan is a great addition to this experiment.

Enjoy bringing some nature into your home and, hopefully, you will start seeing spring flowers soon!

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