This has been much easier to find resources for than many of our previous topics, and, in fact, it can be quite hard narrowing it down to a smallish number of things so as not to overwhelm (and bore) her. It will be rather hard to put any photos on of our work for a while (which is a pity, as I've been taking loads!), as my laptop seems to have been dropped once too often and the fan isn't working any more, it's the only computer I've got my camera software on, and I can't find the disk for the software to load it onto the desktop!
Anyway, the first thing we did about plants was to show uptake of water by celery stalks by cutting one in half lengthwise up to about halfway up the stalk, then put each half into a cup of water to which quite a few drops of food colouring had been added, a different colour in each cup. Within about an hour the leaves had begun to take on the colour of the food colouring on that side, and by the next morning we had a beautiful 2-colour piece of celery. I took it to the science group and was able to cut a slice and make into a slide to look at under the microscope. At the science group we concentrated on plant structure and made quite a few slides of different parts of plants, as well as looking at them under a magnifying glass. Iona wasn't particularly interested in this, though, and spent most of the morning playing in the garden or with a train set in the other room, while I helped the older children. It did, however, make her more interested in magnifying glasses, which she's often wanting to play with at home now.
Since the group, a couple of weeks ago, I have concentrated a lot more on teaching Iona the parts of plants, and she's become fascinated by that, and quite good at remembering them (well, petals at least). She's also getting a good understanding of pollination, and the other day, when we were playing in the garden, was going around saying thank you to the bees for pollinating the flowers! We've made a little mini-book about pollination, with her helping me to actually write the text. I printed this from Homeschool Helper Online, along with quite a few of their other ideas. I haven't used that many of them yet, but one thing I did do, using 2 paper plates joined with a split pin, is make a wheel showing the life cycle of a flower, which Iona enjoyed helping to colour.
Another of our early flower and plant activities was planting vegetable seeds, and activity which Iona loved last year and is even more keen on this year. Since the weather got nice enough to play outside she's been playing with the compost in the pots, and this week she finally got to help me plant the chitted seed potatoes. She was a bit over-keen on this, and kept trying to add more to the pots, so I had to try to explain about them needing enough room to grow. She also has her own pumpkin seedlings, as an open farm near us was advertising pumpkin seed planting from a couple of weeks ago. When we got there they had to find someone to set the activity up for us and then, as with so many children her age, Iona turned shy and wouldn't interact with the woman at all - I had to plant the seeds for her! It was most embarrassing, especially as they didn't charge us anything! Iona enjoyed the outing, though (as they had a nice play area!), and has been happy helping to look after and at her little seedings since.
We've also had a bit of a field trip, as the woods where I take the dog for walks is a beautiful bluebell wood at the moment, so I took Iona with us the other day. She loves going there and is so adventurous, exploring the undergrowth while I tell her stories about her being a princess "battling through the deep, dark forest". She wasn't particularly excited by the flowers, although we picked 1 of each of the types we saw, as well as a few leaves, to stick in a mini-book about her walk. Yesterday we made a flower press, using instructions from Disney's Family Fun site, and put the flowers and leaves into that. I'm looking forward to the convenience of using this plenty, rather than having to pile heavy books on top of layers of tissue and flowers.
I think I'd better leave it at this, but hopefully in my next post I'll look at some of the books we've been reading on the theme of flowers and plants.