Monday, November 12, 2012


Thanksgiving Preschool Science Experiment!!

This fun science experiment could be done any time of the year, but since we decorate with "Indian corn" at Thanksgiving time, this was the perfect season for us!

I originally saw the idea last month on Share & Remember, and decided to turn it into a big project this month!  So, here's your step by step:

Simple Supplies:
  • one piece of "Indian corn" (an ear of dry, colorful, decorative corn)
  • a pan or bucket you can set aside for a week or two
  • water

Easy How-to:

1- Break any husks off your corn and place the corn in the pan (or bucket...I used an old pyrex baking dish).

2- Fill the pan with enough water to cover a little more than half the ear of corn.

3- Place the pan in a sunny windowsill.

4- As the days go by (and the water evaporates), add more water so half the corn stays wet.

5- By the time 4-5 days have passed, you should see little shoots popping out.  The picture at the top of this post is after six full days.  If you keep it any longer than 5-6 days, you may want to change the water.  Be very gentle with the corn (baby shoots and roots are very fragile) and make sure you place the corn back in the pan with the same side up as before you changed the water.

Make it
Learning Experience:

1- Before you begin, let your child hold corn, tap it, and examine it.  Talk about the colors and texture.  Ask your child to predict if it will grow if you water it.

2- Once a day, at a predictable time (perhaps during a school or meal routine), let your child examine the corn and explain what (if anything) has happened.  Older children could keep a log of the daily results.

3- After a week, discuss your child's original prediction and the final results.

4- Pull out a kernel and let your child find (or point out) the root and shoots.  We are going to plant several of the kernels/seedlings in small cups and see how long they grow.  Could we get a big corn plant in the middle of winter?  Who knows!  If not, we might repeat the adventure in the spring!!

This is a great science experiment for young learners.  If you try this science project, I'd love to hear about it.  Leave a comment here or stop by the Preschool Power Packets Facebook page and tell me all about it!

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I may share at any of these parties!


Anne @Authentic Simplicity said...

Great idea! I should have picked up some indian corn at the farmers' market!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks, Anne! Most of our grocery stores have bins of it in the produce section in November!

HannahW said...

Very, very cool! I would love it if you left a link to this at our Eco-Kids Tuesday link-up!

Bridgit's Bell said...

Cool idea. In my classroom I used to soak the Indian corn and then have it available for making necklaces with a large needle and thread. Soaking it makes it soft enough to push the needle through.

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Thanks, Hannah! I just linked up!

That's a great idea, Bridgit! Thanks for sharing!!

Unknown said...

We've been waiting for my town to take down the Halloween displays so we can do this! They decorate with corn stalks around sign and light poles all through the town!
Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library.
Be blessed,
Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk

Savannah said...

This is great and you are right, a perfect Thanksgiving/November activity. Please consider sharing this at "Look What We Did," a homeschool resource website. -Savannah

Marnie said...

Love this idea! So simple!

Unknown said...

Fantastic idea! I'm sure it's enthralling for kids to watch from day to day. Thank you for posting!

Becki said...

WOW! I never knew that you could do this. I have about ten ears of Indian Corn on my table as we speak. Looks like a science day tomorrow!

BTW, I'm your newest follower!

Lisa Nolan said...

Great idea, love the photos! How simple, too, and affordable and FUN! Great job!

Unknown said...

Very cool!

Carla at Preschool Powol Packets said...

Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk...I'd love to see your town's Halloween decorations! How fun!!

Thanks, Savannah! I added it!

Marnie, I love simple activities!

Joyce, we've all enjoyed watching it! It's been so fun!!

Becki, I'd love to see how it turns out for you!!

Thanks, Lisa and Eileen!

Becki said...

Thanks for linking up on Eco Kids! I didn't try it yet, but I will share it when I do!

Christy said...

This is a great, on hands learning experiment. Great idea. Thanks for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday.

Unknown said...

So cool to show kids! How fun would it be to have corn growing inside. Thanks for sharing at Mom's Library!

Charlene@APinchofJoy said...

What a fun project -- I like the idea of leaving the kernels on the cob. Hope to see a pic of a stalk of corn in a few weeks :-) Thanks so much for sharing on Busy Monday!

Becki said...

I featured this post on this week's Eco Kids on Organic Aspirations.

Carrie said...

What a neat experiment!! Thank you for sharing at Happy Family Times!