Friday, July 13, 2012

Mushroom Spore Prints

The Deep South in summer can often be, well, hot and sticky! Afternoons are laced with thunder and heavy rains! After which, the air is so thick you could hang your laundry on it, if you could find a way to pin it! And so goes all our days this past week! Driven inside by either an aversion to sweat or running for cover from rain so dense you can hardly see! 
Early this morning we happened upon a beautiful mushroom during our brief walk around the yard. Since I knew we would have a lot of inside time on our hands today, we decided to make some mushroom prints!

Objective- Uses senses to explore environment (MS Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers: Scientific Development 3.3.4)

Materials- white card stock, fresh picked mushrooms, large bowl or dish, fine mist hairspray

1. Find mushrooms and carefully bring them inside. Careful not to touch under the caps.
2. Remove stems. We just easily twisted ours and they popped right off.
3. carefully place the top of the mushroom on the white paper.
4. Cover with bowl and wait for about an hour.
5. Take off the bowl and carefully lift up the mushroom top. The spores will have left a really neay pattern on the paper. It will easily smear so be careful.
6. Spray a light mist of hairspray to help protect the print.

When we lifted the bowl, Little Mister quickly noticed the smell. Some mushrooms have a strong smell! (By the way, I can't stand them but my little guy likes them..... and that's OK!)

Once we had the prints finished, I let him dissect the mushroom. We talked about: smooth tops, bumpy stems, and rough gills (underside of the top where the spores are)!

a mushroom find in the yard

checking it out

hard to have to wait

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