Our May Flowers activity for this year involves something a little less known by kids – herbs! If you grow fresh herbs or know somebody who can give you a few snips from their garden – great! If not, you can do this experiment with the herbs that sit in the containers on your spice rack! In this Bible science experiment, we will discuss the topic of why herbs smell so distinctive…to understand how God’s voice might be slightly different to each of us, or different to us this year than last year.
May Flowers Science Experiment: What Gives Flowers and Plants Their Aroma
can be potted or dried in containers. Fresh herbs can be separated and each herb tied into bunches.
– Bay leaves
People spend 90 percent of their time indoors. According to a NASA research study, common plants reduce indoor air pollution and are a powerful weapon that can combat against the rising levels of air pollution within the home or office. Plants are not only decorative features that can spruce up any drab room. They also help absorb potentially harmful gases and toxic chemicals. Within just 24 hours, some plants can remove 83 percent of the toxicity in the air. Potted plants also leave a naturally refreshing scent behind. By having flowering plants that improve air quality, we can make our homes and offices smell good and be a healthier environment.
Herbs each have their own distinct smell, according to their chemical component, which are all parts of God’s plan.
According to Professor Hugh Iltis, professor emeritus of botany at UW at Madison, the luscious aroma of flowers attracts lovers, and the biological role of that smell is similar: to attract pollinators! “Plants need to attract insects, bats and hummingbirds to transfer the pollen and create fertile seeds. Pollination is the transfer of pollen (the plant equivalent of sperm) to eggs. The smell of the flower alerts pollinators that the plant is ready to be pollinated, and when the animals arrive to collect pollen and/or nectar, pollen gets transferred.
The minty, oily or sharp smells produced when you crush a leaf or stem play a defensive role, Iltis says. These smells come from chemicals that are often toxic to animals, and thus serve as a one-two punch: they smell (and taste) terrible, and then they make you sick if you ignore your senses and take a bite. Over the course of evolution, people and animals have learned which plants are edible and which are not and learn to identify those plants by their smells.
1. Let children smell all the herbs and say how they are distinctive, whether they are good or bad smells, and which is their favorite.
2. Blindfold the children and ask if they can identify herbs by smell alone. It will make them aware of the complexity of each plant.
These herbs are a little like the will of God. Think of it…think how God’s will for (student #1’s name) might be different than His will for (student #2’s name). One has special gifts and talents from God; the other has different gifts and talents from him. One is a little older…God’s expectation might be a little higher.
What’s one thing we have to do in order to smell the different herbs? How close do we have to put our noses? Right up close.
The closer we get to God – the more we pray and listen and seek His will for us – the stronger He can become. If we really want to know what will be best for us, which is always God’s will, we have to stay close, pray lots, and listen hard.
The smells are pretty distinctive, aren’t they? All herbs smell different. How is that like the paths God sends each of us down? We’re all called to do different things.
1 Corinthians 12: 4 tell us, “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”
These little herbs that look a bit a like but smell so distinctive are like God’s will for us. Let’s not try to be all alike. Instead let’s all try to find God’s will, which brings unity to us all!
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