Discover the Secret Science of Dirt at KinderCare

Some of you may remember that we have an older daughter who is currently in college. When she was younger and my husband needed childcare, he turned to our local KinderCare. It was close, convenient and had a good reputation locally. And it was affordable.

Things haven’t changed all that much—it’s still close to us and we’ve been considering putting our 3-year-old son in a couple of days a week. I think he needs the socialization. And mommy just may, might, maybe need a tiny bit of a break. Maybe. But you know me, I can’t make up my mind. Yet.

Coming up, though, is the perfect opportunity for us to try things and see how they go. That’s because KinderCare is presenting a week-long Spring Break camp called the Secret Science of Dirt. During Spring Break, kids will have the chance to dig into the science behind “growing green” and get excited about the natural world.

Preschoolers (including my son) will experience hands-on science lessons, veggie cooking, and craft-making. I bet my son will love the science lessons, especially if he gets to dig in dirt. I imagine him coming home a little disheveled but with a big grin on his face. He’ll manage to find the dirt, wherever it is. Trust me.

Older kids will plant and tend vegetables, make compost, create garden-related crafts, and (after clean up!) prepare tasty veggie treats. I can only hope that seeing all of the kids eating and preparing veggies will inspire my son to try them.

I’m looking forward to this camp for my son. I think he’ll learn a lot, meet some new friends and get a chance to play with someone other than (boring) mommy.

Spring Break already over in your area? Take a look at their awesome Summer Camps as well.

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Want to discover some fun things to do at home? Check out this take-home adventure from KinderCare:

Science Adventures(tm): Take the Adventure Home
Fun, hands-on science activities to engage your child in discovery learning

By Science Adventures’ Andy, the Science Wiz

Indoor Lawn

As spring buds to life around us, it is the perfect time to engage a young explorer in nature. Children will discover what seeds need to sprout when they nurture a dormant grass seed into mini-pet lawns.

What you will need:

1 brand new clean kitchen sponge
1 Plate
1 Gallon resealable baggie
1 Straw
Grass Seed (Any Variety)

What to do:

growing grass on a sponge

Learn how to grow grass on a sponge - fun with science!

Soak the sponge in cold water for a few minutes. Gently squeeze out the excess water, and place the sponge on a plate. Have your child sprinkle the sponge liberally with grass seed. Next, slide the plate into the baggie. Seal the baggie around the straw and have your child gently inflate the bag by blowing into the straw. Pull the straw out and seal the baggie. Success! You built a mini-inflatable green house.

Place the baggie on a sunny window sill.  Have your child check the baggie each day and report any changes they see. Make sure they add more water If the sponge dries out.

After the first day you should notice that water clings to the top of the baggie in droplets. This is because the sun has heated the water in the sponge causing it to evaporate, rise, and condense into drops. This is a great way of showing how clouds form and sometimes make rain.

After two days, the seeds should start to germinate, pushing out roots. The roots look white and fuzzy. The white strands are the roots seeking a home in some damp soil.

After 4 days, you will notice that the seeds have sprouted tiny green shoots. This is the grass. Each seed will produce one blade of grass.

After 7 days, you should have grown a small pet lawn.

What is happening:

Discuss what plants need to grow with your child. Plants need water, air, soil, sunlight, and space to grow. Our mini-green houses provided plenty of sunlight, water, air, and allowed the seeds to flourish using the nutrients that were packed in the seed. However, the sponge cannot provide nutrients long term. To continue the experiment, the grass can be peeled off the sponge and planted in a small pot.

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Disclosure: We will be comped the Spring Break camp at our local KinderCare learning center. Opinions here are my own and I am already a fan of the centers, hence it’s a good fit for us.

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2 Responses
  1. [...] Originally posted here: Science Blog on: Becky: Discover the Secret Science of Dirt at KinderCare [...]

  2. Deb @ San Diego Momma (3 comments.) says:

    That grass sponge? Gonna be a BIG hit at my house, I can tell you that right now.
    Deb @ San Diego Momma´s last blog post ..Wyoming- A Heartbreak Story- Part Three