Today’s Earth Day week STEAM Activity is coloring using plants! 

My kids and I spent the morning outside hunting for the prettiest leaves and petals in our yard. Then we brought the petals and leaves inside to see if we could color with them.

MATERIALS:

  • Leaves and flower petals of various colors
  • Paper

PROCEDURE:

  1. Go for a backyard scavenger hunt for leaves and flowers. Look for a variety of vibrant colors. 

2. Pull the the leaves and petals off their stems 

3. Rub the petals and leaves on your paper to color using the plants

3a. Flower petals worked best for us – they produced the most vibrant colors. Waxy tree leaves require a very firm pressure to produce color.

STEAM CONCEPTS LEARNED:

  • Science: The green color we’re using in the leaves is chlorophyll, which is an important component of photosynthesis because it allows plants to absorb energy from light. Flower petals are colored by carotenoids and flavonoids chemicals pigments. These colors help attract pollinators to fertilize the plants. 
  • Art: Plants were used for coloring and making dyes for thousands of years before synthetic dyes were created, and many people still use natural colors for art today. It was neat to show my kids that they can color with something besides their boxes of crayons, markers, and paints. Nature has many beautiful colors for us to use!

My kids were honestly shocked that they could color using plants. They didn’t believe me when I first told them what we were doing today. It was fun to see them get excited over the colors each petal and leaf created on their paper. 

Let me know what kind of leaves and petals you use when you try this activity with your kids!

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