Pollinators play an important and crucial role in many plants' lifecycles. However, inside in your Rise Garden, you’ll have to play this important role for several of your plants. Of course, you could just use a paintbrush, or even buy pollinating devices that look like electric toothbrushes, but the activity I have for you is much cuter and you get to spend some time with your little ones crafting it! For this activity, you’ll need toothpicks or wooden skewers, pom poms, and a pipe cleaner. Start by skewering the pom poms to make the body of your pollinator. Next cut the pointed end of the skewer, leaving a bit of room to attach the pipe cleaner. Last, cut the pipe cleaner to approximately 2-3 inches long and tightly twist around the end of the skewer to make the antennae. Your pollinator is now ready for duty! Using your pollinator, gently touch the center of each of the flowers you wish to pollinate, with the goal of taking pollen from one flower to the next. For more information on pollination and some really great videos of pollinators in slow motion, check out this link.
Fun science vocabulary: the transfer of pollen from one plant to the next is called pollination. The process is required for plants to produce fruit and without it, some of our most enjoyed produce (apples, oranges, peaches, cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, and so many more) wouldn’t be very productive!