Today we are very excited to bring you a guest post from Rainy Day Mum.
Thank you to Science Sparks for inviting me to guest post on their blog today. You can find me over at Rainy Day Mum where I share play ideas, activities, crafts, learning experiences and fun for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. As a former Marine Biologist and Science Teacher I love the ideas that Science Sparks shares and really hope you have fun trying out our Pine Cone Weather Station idea.
We come back from every walk with a collection of natural find and in that collection there are always pine cones. So I decided to put them to some use and set up a weather station with them to predict what the weather will be like.
Our weather station is set up on a window sil outside in our garden that we can see from another window in side the house so we can record what is going on with our pine cones each day. I have found out it’s a good idea to attach them to the window with some blu tack or modeling Clay so that they don’t fall over as the weather changes but apart from that the experiment is set up.
When the weather is dry the pinecones open up and when it’s going to rain they close down. It’s a really fun way for children to start to think about the future and what the weather will be doing.
The science behind it.
Pine cones open and close depending on the humidity to help seed dispersal. Inside the pine cone there are lots of feather light seeds. When the weather is dry the pine cone opens up and any wind will catch the seeds and allow them to be dispersed in the air far away from the original tree.
When the humidity rises and rain is likely then the pine cone closes up to prevent the seeds escaping as being so light the seeds will become water logged and they will travel only a short distance from the original source which would be shaded and have to fight the “parent” tree for resources.
Cerys is a SAHM to two toddlers and blogs at Rainy Day Mum, where you can find a lots of fun activities to do with your children, including messy play, imaginative play, baking and crafts.