Monthly post from contributor Kristen at Celebrate Every Day with Me
“Why do leaves change colors?” Have your kids ever asked you this question? I’ll admit, I had forgotten the scientific reason and copped out to the simple explanation of the change in seasons. I might have also used my awesome go-to answer, “Because God made it that way.”
And while completely true, it may be interesting to discover more deeply how He made the leaves to change colors every Fall. So let’s put our proverbial science goggles on and learn why we see the lovely orange, yellow and red leaves of Autumn.
What You’ll Need:
- Plastic Punch Cup
- Nail Polish Remover
- One Coffee Filter
- Pen or Pencil
1. Tear spinach leaves into little bits and place in the plastic cup.
2. Mash the spinach with a spoon.
3. Add nail polish to cover the spinach leaves.
4. Cut a strip of coffee filter. Wrap around a pen or pencil and tape in place.
5. Place the pen across the cup and wait a couple hours.
Watch the colors grow up the coffee filter. What colors do you see?
We saw a lot of green as well as some red and yellow. But how do you get red and yellow from green leaves?
The answer and why leaves change colors: Leaves are green because of the chemical, chlorophyll. But that is not the only chemical in the leaves. Other chemicals produce the reds, oranges and yellows that we see during Autumn. During the Spring and Summer when the days are longer, a process called photosynthesis produces chlorophyll, thus making the leaves green. As the days are shorter, less chlorophyll is produced allowing the other colors to show. In our experiment, the nail polish remover broke down the leaves to release the various chemicals and colors.
Interested in more fun science experiments? Check out this book, The Everything Kids’ Science Experiments Book.
Have fun and keep discovering!
Kristen of Celebrate Every Day With Me is a fun-loving mom to two kids who keep her busy and laughing. Add her great husband and the Lord to the mix and her life is one fantastic (and sometimes crazy) adventure. She is a former youth leader, professional wedding and event planner and has a degree in Christian Thought/Christian Ministry. She loves long lists, diet soda and playing jokes on her husband.
Kristen is the author of Teach Me To Serve: 99 Ways Preschoolers Can Learn To Serve & Bless Others. On her blog, you’ll find fun ideas for children’s activities, creating memorable moments and party planning.