A little natural science lesson about one of our favorite summer foods.
With its dark green shell and brilliant red flesh, watermelons are a flashy fruit. It’s no wonder they are a summer favorite. But there is more to watermelon than meets the eye. Instill a love of learning and science using watermelon.
Watermelon cut outs
Watermelon is delicious as is, but cutting it into fun shapes with cookie cutters makes it even more delightful – kids can play with their food and eat it. Start by cutting the watermelon in half and then slicing off a one or two-inch thick portion. Kids can cut different shapes into the watermelon with cookie cutters.
5 Watermelon Sensory Experiments:
- Hearing – Kick off the activity before cutting the watermelon open. Using the sense of hearing, what do you observe? Knock on the watermelon’s shell. What do you hear?
Move on to the next four senses. Place half a watermelon face up on a solid surface then let the fun begin.
- Sight – What do you see? How many colors are there? How many different parts of the watermelon can you identify? Can you see the rind, the flesh, and the seeds?
- Touch – Examine the flesh – what does it feel like when you touch it, poke it, squish it? What is a watermelon made of – can you tell by touching it?
- Smell – What does watermelon smell like? Does it make you want to eat it?
- Taste – Dive in and eat the watermelon! How does it taste? Why is it so watery? What do the seeds feel like? Does the rind taste different than the fruit?
5 Fun Facts About Watermelons:
- Watermelons earned their name because they are made of so much water – 92% in fact!
- Watermelon is considered a fruit and a vegetable because you can eat the seeds and the rind.
- The watermelon’s closest vegetable cousins are cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins.
- You can eat watermelon seeds, and no they won’t actually grow in your belly!
- Watermelon has been harvested for thousands of years. There are even records of watermelons in Egyptian hieroglyphs that date back 5,000 years.
Plant a seed and watch it grow
Watermelons require a long and warm growing season. It takes 80 days for watermelons seeds to germinate and grow, and the soil needs to be about 70 degrees F or warmer when planted. If your climate allows for it, kids can take the seeds and plant them right into the ground after their sensory experiment. Watch for the plants to crop up in the coming weeks.
Cap off a fun learning session with a delicious, summer snack.