|Picture Taken on 4-15-2011--Scroll to the bottom to see the UPDATE on this post|
This project came from the book Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum. It is a fantastic book filled with GREAT ideas of exploring science with preschool aged children. I highly recommend it.
What is a Twig Race?
"The Twig Race utilizes observation of the marvel of spring---the renewed growth of trees as buds and leaves grow from their twigs. But which grows fastest, the twig on the tree or the cut twig that is taken inside? The children observe the growth of the twigs both indoors and out. Who wins the race? Try it and find out!", Mudpies to Magnets: A Preschool Science Curriculum, p. 127.
How to have a Twig Race?
In the very early spring (like right now!), pick a tree that your children are well associated with to study. We chose a cherry tree that grows right outside our front door. We pass this tree several times per day as we go in and out of the house. So we have plenty of chances to observe it throughout the year.
Talk to the children about the lack of leaves on the tree. Also, point out the buds on the tree to the child. Have the child describe the buds as they see them. (Different trees have different feeling and looking buds.) Also explain to them the purpose of the buds.
Next explain that we are going to have a race with the tree and see which twig sprouts first: the twig the tree takes care of OR the twig that we take care of indoors. Clip a twig off of the tree using a clean cut and put it indoors in water next to a window. Also, pick a specific twig which you wish to race by tying a piece of brightly colored yarn or ribbon on it.
Everyday observe the twig outdoors and the twig you are taking care of indoors. Which twig wins the race?
The kids and I made a hypothesis on which twig would win the race. I personally thought that the twig left on the tree would bloom first. Marcus and Sophie thought that they would win the race by taking very good care of their twig indoors.
Well...who won the race? In our case, it was the twig left indoors. (I was quite surprised!)
The buds on our twig are just beginning to bloom into very pretty flowers:
|Our indoor twig (picture taken on 4-11-2011)|
|Here you can see our outdoor twig we are observing. We tied it with a red piece of yarn so we could easily find it. (picture taken on 4-11-2011)|
Well, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this special time spent with your children getting acquainted with nature.
UPDATE: As of April 13, 2011, our Cherry Tree is in FULL BLOOM!
|Picture taken on 4-15-2011-Most of the Cherry Tree is in full bloom|
|Picture Taken on 4-15-2011|
|The tree obviously won the race! Picture taken on 4-15-2011|
|As to be expected, the tree takes better care of its twigs than we can. Picture taken on 4-15-2011|
Here come the honey bees:
On the very first day our tree blossomed, the tree was COVERED with bees. Probably about 30-40--- which seemed like a lot to me! I was inside the house and I could actually hear their humming. However, after about a day they moved on and I haven't seen a single one back.
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