This week during Nature Club Holly did a small collection of pine cones for her nature table area. She found what appears to be three different kinds of pine cones. While observing them we had a discussion on how pine cones are beneficial in nature. Aside from animals eating the seeds we talked about how they reseed.
I explained how the pine cone warms and dries then opens in which loose seeds can fall out. We talked about how forest fires are actually prime for pine cones and regenerating forests after a fire. The heat from a fire dries the pine cones for quick reseeding. She found this fascinating.
So, to show Holly how a pine cone is dried and open with loose seeds OR wet and tight without loose seeds we first examined a dry and open pine cone. Then I filled a bowl with cold water and we soaked the pine cone. The pine cone closed back up, securing the seeds within. It was a great, simple science experiment!