Studying Mushroom with Kids
The kids are studying mushrooms right now. Our forests have been covered in all kinds of mushroom and its really caught the kids imagination this year. It's been a super fun exploration into the exciting world of fungus! I love that homeschooling/unschooling allows us the freedom to explore the kids interests and because of this we've found ourselves knee deep in the exciting world of mushrooms! So today the blog, I thought I would break down some of the resources and activities we've been using to study mushroom with the kids in case they might help you study mushrooms with your little ones too!
A note before we begin: I've always been really clear with the kids that they should just leave the mushrooms alone and certainly not eat them! They know that mushrooms we buy in the grocery store are safe to eat but they most definitely should never eat a mushroom in the forest. I would love to get into edible mushroom foraging someday but with little kids it isn't very practical. So for now we are studying mushrooms in all their glory, not eating them!
North American Mycological Association has some awesome resources that I used : http://www.namyco.org/lesson_plan.php
Making Mushroom Stock/Broth
Drinking Reishi tea or other mushroom teas
Cooking with different types of mushrooms
Learning to identify the different parts of a mushroom
Watching clips on YouTube of mushrooms growing ( fascinating stuff!)
Some Mushroom books we have been loving include:
Mushrooms of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada (A Timber Press Field Guide)
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms
Here is also a recommended list of further mushroom reading: http://www.namyco.org/refbooks.php
We have spent most of our time out in the forest looking for mushrooms. We take pictures ( my son sometimes brings his little camera and also takes the photos) of the mushrooms and we document a little about their size and shape. We then try to identify the mushrooms when we get back home using our field guides.
Most of the art we've done has involved free drawing. But we've also dabbled in making mushroom prints. Here are some other fun mushroom ideas:
2. Make Mushrooms out of play dough
3. Free draw mushrooms
4. Create Popsicle stick mushrooms like these ones
Well that wraps up our mushroom study friends! Makes sure to connect with me on Instagram and Youtube.
I'll see you soon!