We have had so much rain this year, which means a bumper crop of fungi! Our yard has had so many different varieties of mushrooms popping up everywhere. We enjoy taking a field guide out and trying to ID as many as we can. The oldest country kid and I got to talking about mushrooms and how they reproduce…. yes my 7 year old is very inquisitive! I tried to explain spores to him, but as you can imagine it is hard to explain something someone can’t see, so I decided to do a little science/art project with him to SHOW him spores, so he could better understand.
We found some nice mushrooms, with flat-ish caps. Fresh picked, mature mushrooms with flatter caps work best. I then gave him a piece of black paper to put the caps on. (Don’t worry, we did not pick them all, that way they could still reproduce.) We then set the paper in an area where it would not be disturbed and waited.
After a few days we checked them and we not only had spores, but they made beautiful artistic patterns. Now if you want to keep your spore art, just spray the paper with some hairspray to set the spores and frame them. Make sure you hold the hairspray far enough away from the print so that the pressure from the can does not disturb the spores and ruin your print. Now you have an original one of a kind piece of art for your wall!
Just think of the gifts you and your children could make for friends and family….. low cost, creative and unique!