We have been doing a lot of gardening and getting ready for spring. This year we thought it would be fun to grow mushrooms! We ordered a mushroom growing kit from a farmer and have begun this process.
We showed the children the kit and talked about how mushrooms grow from spores. They are really not a plant but have their own category as a fungi. They actually obtain their nutrition by metabolizing non-living organic matter.
These mushrooms came to us in compost. We all took a turn smelling it and these were some of the comments: It smells like: woods, moss and bark, chocolate, woodchips, bees and bark. Some children just thought it was stinky.
We put the dirt in a bucket.
One of the children brought three cups of water.
We then added water and mixed.
The squeeze test is done to make sure it is moist enough. For us it wasn’t so we added a bit more water.
We then put this mix on top of the compost and mushroom spores.
After this process was complete and everyone had a turn putting the dirt on top, some children wanted to make a sign.
The moveable alphabet was used to write the words and then someone wrote them on paper.
Lastly, some of the children went with a teacher to a dark, furnace room to place the mushrooms for optimal growing. They need it to be dark and about 75 degrees.
Inspired by the study of mushrooms, some of the children engaged in other activities. One was making a paper mushroom.
These types of activities require the child to use different types of tools such as a pencil or marker, glue, hole puncher. All of these help to increase fine motor skills and connect the brain with the hand.
Another fun activity was painting with mushrooms! The child picks up a mushroom that is on the end of a plastic fork, dips in paint and creates their own picture.
Lastly, some of the children like to create their own nomenclature book.
We hope to have real mushrooms in a few weeks and will update the blog then!