|Our Recommended Age:||5+ (with adult supervision and help)|
|Contents:||2 Flasks, 2 Trellises (double as rulers), 2 Seed Baskets and 1 Instruction Booklet/Journal|
|Skills:||Stimulates an interest in biology and botany Offers opportunity for natural discoveries Journaling activities encourage creativity|
Educational Insights has some amazing toys and games that are perfect for fun AND education. Our new favorite line of “toys” is the Nancy B Science Club kits. The first one we tried? The Hydroponics Kit! The Geeklings were super excited to learn how to grow plants WITHOUT dirt! This kit teaches you and gives you everything you need to get started..well except the seeds and the water.
The first thing you need to know about this kit is that you don’t need to know anything about Hydroponics to use it or teach your kids about it. I mean I would read over everything first so it LOOKS like you knew about it before hand…which is what we did but you don’t have to know it first…is my point.
There is a 22 page journal/activity book that has the instructions for not only growing plants in just water but also other experiments you can do using the flasks provided that also involve Hydroponics. We are still waiting for our beans to grow before we try other ones…but we WILL be doing more experiments. Both Geeklings check the plants growth every day…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The kit comes in a box with one of those annoying open the tab first then the lid flips up but I don’t hold that against the kit. It IS more secure that way and it’s not their fault I can’t open them without tearing them…I’m impatient is probably the problem…moving on!
This is recommended for kids ages 8+ but if an adult is helping kids as young as 5 would love helping in this experiment or some of the others listed in the instructions/journal. There are only the 2 Flasks though.
There are two plastic flasks in Purple and Teal, 2 Purple tiny baskets, 4 ruler parts with 2 in Purple and 2 in Teal and the Journal booklet. I will go over the first and second activity in the book as they go together. There are so many more things to try in this book though so look them all over before deciding!
The Incredible Seed
You will need:
Packet of some type of seeds, they recommend peas but we used beans
Plastic bag that seals. Freezer bag worked great for us.
Get the paper towel wet but not dripping with tap water then put 4 or 5 seeds on one half and fold the other half over it. Gently slide this into the plastic bag and seal it closed. Make sure to write on the bag what it is or whose it is if you are using both flasks. The Gentleman and the Diva each had their own.
Now you play the waiting game for a day or more until your seeds have germinated which are called seedlings. Don’t wait too long or you get moldlings…as I call them. Mold will grow on the seeds if left for too long so be careful of that. Now the next step…
Getting to the Root of It:
First remove the seed basket from the flask and fill the flask with tap water. Now take one of your seedlings from the previous activity, specifically one that sprouted, and gently push the roots through the holes in the bottom of the basket.
Now put the Seed Basket back into the Flask. You should see the roots hanging out of the bottom. There is a dry erase area on the front of the Flask so you can put what you are growing OR your kids names so they know which is whose.
In order to keep track of your experiment, Nancy B’s Science Kit provides you with an area in the Journal to keep a record of the Temp of the water and how tall the roots grow and the actual plant grows. Those ruler pieces should be assembled one Purple and one Teal together and put it on the side. There is a spot just for this ruler!
Check the temp of the water and write it down and then write down the length and height of the root and plant respectively. Finally put the Flasks in a window sill or somewhere it will get the most sun. Check it every day and water as needed. I have water sitting out now to get to room temp so it can be added…not sure if that is necessary but since it works for fish I figure it would be good for plants too…
The plant could need support depending on what it is so you might want to set up some type of trellis for it to use. The instructions recommend string or twist ties to wrap around the ruler which is also a Trellis. See? Everything you need but the seed and water! Love it!
We have been growing ours for about 3 weeks now and our beans have grown quite a bit! The Gentleman’s plant is # inches tall and the roots are # in length. The temp for his reads ## degrees F. The Diva’s plant is # inches tall and the roots are # in length. The temp for hers is ## degrees.
The Diva’s plant seems to be growing at a faster rate than the Gentlemans and her seedling also had more roots than his did even though they started the same day. More scientific study is needed to conclude anything about that…or at least some research.
When they asked about it we told them plants were like people in that every one is similar in how they are made and built but they grow and develop differently. They seemed to accept this explanation so all is well.
This is also a perfect kit for anyone who homeschools! It was our Science experiment in fact so we found videos to go along with it and it led to great discussions. The Hydroponics Kit from Nancy B’s Science Club is also great for any science or plant loving kid…or well anyone who just loves to learn new things.