Kid Science: Celery Straws

Kid Science--Celery Straws

With the weather cooling off and our days getting darker earlier and earlier, Buddy and I have begun getting a little stir crazy (yes already) hanging out around the house after nap time. We’ve been spending more and more afternoons making arts and crafts projects around here lately but even that was starting to lose its luster. Bring on the science! For us, it’s just become another way to be creative (and educational…I’m sneaky like that) and spend some quality time together. And I’m super excited to share some of these activities with all of you!

I chose this first activity cause, well, I had a little bit of leftover celery in the house after making crock pot stuffing twice in the past few weeks that needed to be used up. It was a neat opportunity to talk about colors, capillary action (ha!), and just break out some science-y vocabulary like “observe,” “hypothesis” (though he has heard this one several time on the PBS show Dinosaur Train,) and “prediction.” Of course I explained what each of these terms means and when I used them I paired it with a synonym or phrase for clarification (observe/watch. hypothesis/guess, prediction/what might happen.) Eventually I’ll drop those synonyms but he’s two…I don’t expect him to walk around using this vocabulary…yet (that’s for next week…kidding!) Ultimately, this experiment might be better suited for a slightly older crowd…a chart would be a handy tool to record daily observations if your older child would be interested in that. Give it a shot!

You will need:


cups, vases, or glasses (preferrably clear)


food coloring

paper and pencil (if making an observation chart)

On day one we filled our glasses half full with water and added food coloring…

Kid Science--Celery Straws

Gave our celery a quick rinse and a fresh cut…Kid Science--Celery Straws

And plopped them in the water.

Kid Science--Celery Straws

At this point we talked about making our hypothesis & predictions. My hypothesis was that the leaves on the celery would turn the color of the water it was sitting in. I also predicted that the red would show up better than the green.

We came back the next morning to find this!

Kid Science--Celery Straws

Aha! Look! Our celery is changing colors! Not just the leaves, but the entire stalk. And would you look at that..the green piece is actually showing its color better. (At this point I cheated and added more red food coloring to the red glass…just wanted to see if I could get that color to be more bold so we could talk about it.)

Day two revealed even darker colored foliage (and for some reason the red one wilted a bunch…not sure why that happened.)

Kid Science--Celery Straws

Then I made a fresh cut so we could see what the inside of our celery looked like…

Kid Science--Celery Straws

How cool is this…

Kid Science--Celery Straws

Here’s where I mentioned capillary action and explained that it was like the celery had lots of straws in it and the leaves were drinking the colored water up through those “straws.” Imagine my amazement when my little guy then turned to his daddy, who was just entering the room, and explained the whole thing to him (minus the term “capillary action” of course). 🙂 Absolutely amazing…and so much fun! Can’t wait to share our next science experience with you.

Oh and Mandy and I are meeting the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, tonight!!! I’m so excited I can hardly contain myself! I keep trying to think about what I’ll say to her when it’s my turn but I just don’t know. What would YOU want to say to or ask Ree???


3 thoughts on “Kid Science: Celery Straws

  1. Pingback: Kid Science: Experimenting with Static Electricity | Gaining Mommymentum

  2. Pingback: Kid Science: Goop | Gaining Mommymentum

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