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Mushrooms

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.

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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.

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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.

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We put the dirt in a bucket.

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One of the children brought three cups of water.

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We then added water and mixed.

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The squeeze test is done to make sure it is moist enough.  For us it wasn’t so we added a bit more water.

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We then put this mix on top of the compost and mushroom spores.

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After this process was complete and everyone had a turn putting the dirt on top, some children wanted to make a sign.

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The moveable alphabet was used to write the words and then someone wrote them on paper.

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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.

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Inspired by the study of mushrooms, some of the children engaged in other activities.  One was making a paper mushroom.

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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.

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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.

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Lastly, some of the children like to create their own nomenclature book.

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We hope to have real mushrooms in a few weeks and will update the blog then!