Kids Experiments with Carrots
What can kids learn from experimenting
with a carrot? Try these simple experiments.
Also, you must try Mr Carrot Head
- Make a unique face to keep! Click here.
See the Carrot Toys
page here. Kids Craft
More games and tricks on the
Learn to draw a carrot here
(Utube) Origami Carrot Watch a very simple instructional
1. Fun with Carrot Plants
(a) Windowsill Carrot Plant - Cut the top off a carrot leaving about 1/2 inch of the orange part
and the same amount of green stems if the carrot has already started sprouting
from the top. Press the carrot piece into damp sand or soil in a saucer or
bowl. Just put a little water into the dish if sand/soil are not available.
Soon pretty leaves could appear and hey presto you have a nice plant to keep
at a window in bright light. The root will not regenerate itself. But if there
is enough of the root left, it is possible to plant it and get some foliage from it.
The carrot top in time might flower and it is very
nice for beneficial insects and butterflies. Carrots are a biennial and will
flower when they are 2 years old. The plant will eventually produce a flower and then
seeds. If you are lucky the seeds will be viable and you can plant them
in the ground to grow real carrots. Learn about carrot seeds
THAT said, depending
on what variety your carrot is, it could grow the same type of carrot (from the
seeds) IF it is an open pollinated variety. If it is a hybrid variety (which a
lot of commercial carrots sold in the store are, often called "F1"), it has a
mixture of genes and you could get many which are different from each other, or
the seed could be sterile or very weak. Be aware that carrots can also cross with the weed
"Queen Anne's Lace".
(b) - A Touch
harder - Cut off the stems in the same way, but remove only 2 inches
from the tip of the carrot itself. Now hollow out the carrot. You may need
help with this, and the next part which gets the carrot ready for hanging
down. Stick three strong pins into the carrot bottom to attach string to
each. Attach the three strings so that you can hang the carrot from where
they are tied together. Keep the hollowed out carrot filled with water. Soon
the stem will start to grow from the bottom. Very soon they will curl up
around the carrot to make a ferny hanging plant. Great fun for kids.
(c) The Hanging Carrot Garden
For this you need: Large carrot, Knife , Absorbent cotton, Water, Dish, Wooden
skewer , Potato peeler, Thread.
Cut a section about 2 inches from the top of the carrot. Leave any leaves
or stalks attached. Stand the cut end in a dish of water on top of the absorbent
Once shoots have sprouted, remove and scoop a hollow bowl into the end of
he carrot using a potato peeler. Push the wooden skewer through the top half
of the carrot. Tie the same size length of thread for each side of the skewer.
Hang the carrot up in a sunny window and fill the inside "bowl" with water.
The shoots will grow up to the light, and you will soon have a hanging
Fun with Roots
Experiment No1 - Get to the
3 Carrots; Sharp knife; Cutting
board; Glass; Water; Red food colouring
1. Fill a glass half full with
2. Cut the end tip off of a carrot. Ask
an adult to help you!
3. Put the carrot in the glass of
4. Put the glass near a window that lets
5. Watch the carrot for a few
The carrot itself is really what we call
a "taproot." This is a big and main root that grows straight down into the
ground. Along its sides, little roots grow, too. Some trees, plants and bushes
have a major taproot; others do not. Roots are really important! They hold
a plant in place when it is windy. They keep soil around the plant . And
most of all, roots conduct water from the soil up to the
Fun No 2 - absorption
1. Repeat the first experiment with a
new carrot, but this time put 10 drops of red food colouring into the glass
2. Put the carrot in the water for several
3. Put the carrot on the cutting board
and with the help of an adult, cut the carrot in half. Look inside. You will
see red colouring in the tubes of the carrot that go from the bottom to the
top of it. This shows you that water was being absorbed by the bottom or
tip of the carrot and travelling up the inside of the carrot. This is how
plants and trees get water from their roots.
Repeat this same experiment as above but this
time cut the carrot in a cross section. Then you can look at how the carrot
is structured from that point of view.
beets, turnips and parsnips are also taproots. You might want to get some of
these and cut them to see how they are made. It also is interesting that we eat
Try steaming, baking or eating these taproots raw! As
you think about plants that we eat, check out which veggies we eat that are the
stem parts, the leaves, or the flowering part of the plant. Some plants, stems,
roots, taproots and flowers are delicious!
A clear glass or plastic
cup; A small carrot that will fit inside the cup; A clear plastic straw;
Four toothpicks; A candle; A few drops of ink or food colouring
1. Scoop the leafy top out of the end
of the carrot, making a small hollow.
2. Cut a 5 cm length off the end of
the plastic straw.
3. Push the piece of straw into the
hollowed-out end of the carrot.
4. Light the candle and use melted candle
wax to seal the piece of straw onto the carrot.
5. Push the toothpicks into the top
of the carrot, spacing them evenly.
6. Fill the cup with tap water, almost
to the rim.
7. Suspend the carrot in water, resting
the toothpicks on the rim of the cup.
8. Leave for a day or two and watch
Can you guess what's going
When a carrot grows in the ground, its
cells transfer the water in the ground up to the stalks and leaves above
ground by a process called osmosis. You can see osmosis at work in this activity.
Osmotic pressure has pushed water up into the straw. Osmotic pressure is
a kind of pump for plants, helping water to move across cell
Try this one as
Colour the water with ink or food
colouring. After the water has risen in the straw, cut the carrot in half.
What do you see? Is the ink spread evenly throughout the carrot, or are there
main veins? What could the other parts of the carrot be for? Are they coloured
Try putting limp carrot sticks in fresh
water. What happens? How long does it take them to become to become stiff
Sensitized photosensitive persons, of which
there are quite a few in the world!! may get an exact reproduction of the
carrot leaf by placing it on the skin for awhile, followed by exposure to
sunshine. Try it and let us know.
to grow a giant carrot
You should always "dig in" any giant
vegetable deep with lots of organic matter, take extra care over feeding,
watering and pest control and, if showing, harvest at the very last moment
Fill a 6in-wide 4 foot long drainpipe
with clean fine sand. (Always be optimistic). Make a hole in the sand with a long
pole and fill it with good potting compost. Sow three seeds in the compost and thin
to the best one when they have germinated.
Water from the top for the first two
months and thereafter from the bottom to encourage the roots to seek out
moisture. At harvest
time wash out as much sand as possible using a hosepipe before very gently
pulling up the carrot. If you pull too hard you may damage the long tapering
Here is an example of Hunkins fine work.
For more examples see the web site.
This activity uses a common carrot and
two different metals to make a enough electricity to run a small digital
Materials: Two Large Raw Carrots; 2 Pennies; 2 Large Galvanized Nails; 3
pieces of 6" long wire; Small Digital Clock (Tandy (Radio Shack) or Maplin
- "Stick-on Timer" £3.50/ $4.99.
The digital clock can be extracted from an inexpensive alarm clock or it
can be purchased from an electronics store.
Slice of about 1 inch from each carrot and discard. Place the remaining pieces
next to each other, flat face down on a plate.
Strip off about 2 inches of insulation from both ends of each wire.
Wrap one end of one wire around one of the nails. Press the nail into one
of the carrots pieces.
Wrap one end of another wire around one of the pennies. Do this by first
laying the penny across the exposed wire. Position the penny so it is centered
on the wire and almost touching where the wire insulation begins. Fold the
end of the exposed wire over the top of the penny. Pinch the penny and wire
between your index finger and thumb on one hand and pinch the overlapping
wire with the other hand. Twist the penny until the wire tightens around
the penny. Press the edge of the penny about half way into the other carrot.
You could drill holes in the pennies to make it easier to attach the wires.
Attach one end of the third wire to the nail and the other end to the penny.
(see photo below)
Insert the nail into the carrot that already has the penny stuck into it
then stick the penny into the carrot that already has the nail stuck into
Pop the back off the timer and remove the button battery
Connect the two wires coming from the potato battery to the contact on the
battery holder. If the clock does not illuminate the polarity (+ / -) might
be incorrect. Touch the wires to the opposite contacts on the timer's battery
How does it work?
The carrot contains phosphoric acid. This acid causes chemical reactions
to occur at each of the electrodes (galvanized nail and copper penny). The
reaction at the copper electrode strips electrons from the copper and attaches
them to the Hydrogen ions (2H+) in the phosphoric acid. This depletes the
electrons on the copper electrode which makes if "hungry" for more. The process
creates Hydrogen gas.
The galvanized nail provides the Zinc needed for the other reaction. The
reaction at the galvanized nail dissolves the Zinc. The dissolving process
strips electrons from the Zinc atoms. The liberated electrons stay on the
electrode and the resulting Zinc ions (Zn++) migrate into the acidic juices
of the potato. This results in an excess of electrons on the Zinc electrode.
If a wire is connected between the Zinc nail and the copper penny, electrons
will flow. This flow of electrons is the electrical voltage.
When the battery was to an oscilloscope and measured a voltage of 0.5 Volts.
Several carrot batteries can be connected in series to generate a higher
voltage. The experiment also works (better!) with potato.
Swallowing a Live Goldfish! (The Secret).
You're not going to believe the method.
It's so ridiculous, but it works! What you need:
One carrot. One goldfish bowl nearby. Cut up the carrot and carve out
a small fish-shaped piece about an inch-and-a-half long.
Really. (Yeah, that's how it's done!) Place the carrot-fish in your coat
pocket and wait for an appropriate moment.
The Performance: It's all a gag, really. Just ham this up... When the right
"moment" presents itself, palm the carrot in your hand. Since no one has
a clue what you are preparing to do, don't try to make a "move" of this,
Then, roll up the sleeve, plunge the hand into the gold fish bowl, pull out
the "fish" by the tail, hold it up and wiggle it, pop it into your mouth
and partake of the "meal". (Expect some very unusual reactions to this stunt.)
Then, just step over the bodies of those who've fainted as you dab the corners
of your mouth with a napkin!
Please note: If you plan to do this, please do it wisely. This is a very
powerful gag and may sicken some persons in the room. Also, be sure that
it's not a tank of piranha that have been fed some goldfish that are just
waiting to be eaten!
floats Carrot or Apple?
Carrot Magic for
Perform a little science magic with this simple experiment. You will need
a large bowl of water, a carrot and an apple. First, ask the children what
they think will happen when an apple or a carrot is put in the bowl. Place
the carrot in the bowl first; then remove it and place the apple in the bowl.
What happens? Why?
Explain to the children that foods like carrots and apples vary greatly in
the amount of air they contain. Carrot matter is packed very tightly and
is very heavy, making the carrot sink. The apple is not packed as tightly
and has many air spaces, which allow it to float.
Try slicing the apple and carrot for more observation.
History Wild Carrot
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