Whether you forage for them in wild or buy them at your local grocery store, you can use any type of mushroom to make spore prints. Check out this cool nature craft project for kids.
What You'll Need:
- Mushroom caps
- White unlined index cards
- Black paper
- Drinking glass or bowl
- Hair spray or acrylic fixative
Step 1: Find a mushroom in the wild, or get some from the store. (Be careful when handling wild mushrooms -- don't eat them!) You will have to find some with the caps open. Look underneath the cap. The gills inside are lined with structures that make and release spores by the millions. Each spore can grow into a new fungus.
Step 2: Cover half of an index card with black paper.
Step 3: Pop out the stem from the mushroom cap and place the cap on the card so that half is on the black paper and half on the white.
Step 4: Cover with a glass or bowl and let the cap sit overnight.
Step 5: The next day remove the glass and the mushroom cap. You should see a print of the mushroom spores. Pale spores will show up on the black paper, while darker ones will show on the white.
Step 6: Ask an adult to spray the print with hair spray or acrylic fixative to keep it from smearing.
For a different type of nature craft project, make a pretty centerpiece for your table with fresh apples. Learn how on the next page.