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Mushroom Spore Prints

Supercool Science Craft! Mushroom Spore Prints

Here's a project that's perfect for your lil science geek. Along with making something really cool, your tot will learn more about the wonders of nature and that the things we eat can also be used in different ways. Even if your child doesn't care for the flavor of mushrooms, he'll totally be a fan of this fungi after doing this crafty experiment. Gather together a few mushrooms and a sheet of paper, and you are ready to get started!

Here are the super simple directions.

What You'll Need:

  • Several mushrooms
  • White paper
  • Sheet pan
  • Hair spray
  • Brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Letter stamps
  • Stamp pad
  • Hole punch
  • String

Directions:

  1. Invite your child to select several mushrooms for the crafty experiment. You can use different types of mushrooms to see which creates the best print or just use one kind.
  2. Help your tot remove the stem of the mushroom, creating a flat button top.
  3. Place a sheet of white paper on a sheet pan or in a location where it can remain undisturbed for 24 hours. Invite your lil to arrange the mushrooms, flat side down, on the paper.
  4. Find the perfect spot to leave the mushrooms overnight. While you are waiting for the cool results, chat with your lil about what might happen. The underside of a mushroom cap is made of thousands of gills, which are filled with spores. The purpose of those mushroom spores is to drop to the ground and create more mushrooms. So when the caps are placed on a white paper, the spores are released, creating a really cool print of the underside of the mushroom.
  5. The next day, invite your tot to remove the mushroom tops and check out the prints! To keep the spores from smudging, give the paper a gentle spray of hair spray and let dry.
  6. Your child can cut his favorite spore print from the paper and glue it to a sheet of brown construction paper. Use letter stamps to spell out the word mushroom over the print, or if your tot is an avid writer, invite him to write "mushroom" on the picture.
  7. Pop a hole in each of the upper corners and thread with a string for hanging the finished super-cool mushroom spore print.
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