Most kids love hands-on science. Using indoor plants to conduct growing experiments is not only fun, but educational as well. There are several ways to conduct growing experiments with indoor plants. Your kids may want to try them all or concentrate on only one, but, either way, they will learn all about growing conditions and their effects on plants. Make sure, too, that kids record results from each experiment.
Using two of the same type of plants, equal in height, experiment with the amount of light received each day and how it affects the growth of each plant. One plant can be placed in front of a south-facing window, which will receive the most light per day. Place the other in front of a west-facing window, which receives the least amount of light. Another way to experiment with light is to observe what happens to the growth of each plant when placed in different levels of lighting. For example, one can be placed under a fluorescent light, while the other is placed in a dark room. Make notes of how each plant reacts to specific lighting conditions, make sure you water and feed each plant exactly the same.
All plants need water to survive and this experiment will demonstrate how necessary water is to the growth of a plant. Using two identical seedlings, one can be watered every day just until the soil is moist and the second one once a week. Fertilize each plant the same and provide the same levels of light, Make notes of the growth patterns. Observe which one is growing taller, stronger, greener, and faster. Also experiment with growing the same type of seedlings in different containers, such as clay and plastic pots. Water each seedling each day. Note differences in the growth of the plants and which containers dry out quicker.
Plants require different temperatures to grow their healthiest. For this experiment, place two of the same plants in areas where the temperatures are different and the changes in growth patterns will be noted. Place one plant near a heat source such as a south-facing window, heating duct or a stove. Place the other plant in a drafty location over a central air conditioning duct, near an air conditioner or next to a cold window. Another option is to place one plant in a refrigerator and another on top of a radiator. Observe, and record, the growth patterns of each plant over a month.