PRE-K, Kindergarten, & Elementary Education


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 Activities  | Ideas | Directions
Color Code: Pre-K & K  Elementary | Comments 


Welcome to the Mushroom Family!

Discovering how to grow mushrooms at home will be a fun experience for you and your child. Your journey of discovery begins when your GreenBox Family Farm Mushroom Kit arrives!

Growing mushrooms at home will encourage your child to appreciate how to be responsible for and take care of growing things. Apart from enjoying the fruits of their labor, the GreenBox will teach your youngster valuable life skills such as patience and perseverance while boosting their self-esteem and stimulating independent thought as they wait for the outcome of their hard work.

The GreenBox Activity Kit contains educational material that allows your child to explore Organisms and the Environment as part of Life Science. What better way to learn how organisms depend on their environment, and how they make their own food and obtain energy to grow and survive?

GreenBox offers parents the opportunity to engage in meaningful activities with their children that allow developing minds to ask questions, conduct investigations, create, analyze and interpret data, use mathematical and computational thinking, construct explanations and design solutions.





CORE AREA: Exploring Organisms and the Environment

Standards to achieve:

  1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of how fungi depend on the environment  here they are found and how their needs are met.
  2. The student will demonstrate an understanding of how different organisms such as people, animals, plants and fungi need air, water, nutrients, and shelter to survive.
  3. The student will demonstrate an understanding of how fungi cannot make their own food and need air, water, nutrients, and shelter to survive.

    Performance Indicators:

    To demonstrate this understanding, students can:

    1. Gain information and answer questions about different organisms found in the environment.
    2. Explain, through observation, what fungi need to survive and grow, i.e. air, water, nutrients, and shelter.
    3. Give information about why fungi live in particular areas.
    4. Compare and construct explanations about how fungi differ from other organisms

      Best Practices:

      1. Ask questions
      2. Identify problems
      3. Investigate and collect data
      4. Analyze and interpret data
      5. Apply mathematical and computational thinking
      6. Use evidence to make scientific arguments
      7. Communicate information
      8. Make cross-curricular connections


      • There are basic observations and activities for all three levels.
      • The Activity Kit differentiates between the levels by introducing additional/supplemental activities for the older students.



        What you will need:

       GreenBox FAMILY FARM KIT

         Let's get started!

       HOW TO USE the GreenBox FAMILY FARM KIT:

      Read the directions on how to grow the mushrooms in the box

       Establish a Routine

       The GreenBox FAMILY FARM KIT can be incorporated seamlessly as a daily activity on a personal level as well as on a relationship level with other family members.

      Routines protect and help children feel safer as they know what to expect. Studies have shown that people who favor an active daytime routine have healthier sleeping cycles and are associated with better mental health. 


      There are a few things we can do to ensure the best growing environment for the mushrooms is obtained:

      • Keep the box still in an area where it will not be disturbed
      • Only use water
      • Stick to the suggested amount of watering daily
      • Refrain from poking fingers into the growing holes

       The guidelines will be re-visited for Activity 1 below:

      Let the fun begin!



      Possible Questions: 

      • What do you think a mushroom assistant’s job is?
      • What are some of the best things about nature?
      • What is your favorite food? Why?
      • What is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?
      • If you could grow anything in the yard, what would it be? 

      This activity will promote critical thinking skills. Resist answering these questions. Answer a question with a question:  Example, “What do you think?” “How can we find out?”


       Activity 1

      Using the Guidelines above, brainstorm ideas on how we can keep our mushroom family safe. Explain that there are rules to follow so that the mushrooms will grow well.

      Discuss these guidelines with your child. Encourage child to determine the consequence of what the opposite behavior may cause.


      What would happen if we shake the box?

      Why should we only use water?

        Activity 2

      Brainstorm:  Have your child study the objects below, connecting the objects in relation to human vs. mushroom needs. Answer the following two questions:

      1. “What do I need to grow?”
      2. “What does our mushroom kit need to grow?”





      Preparing your child for the upcoming process:

      • Discuss what is inside the GreenBox Family Farm kit, and what to expect.


      Pick a warm area with indirect sunlight.


      A colony is now established by the mycelium (the vegetative part of a fungus). Now it will start fruiting. You can see pins or fruit buds coming out of the holes.


      The caps will grow larger and the stems longer.


      The best time to harvest is when the caps turn from convex to concave – turning down to turning up.


       Use the 10-day calendar below (Pre-K and K) Let the child create his/her own (Elementary)

       Circle the spray bottles/watering cans on the calendar as you spritz them. As soon as there is growth activity, add a smiley face and record what you see:

      Pre-K and K:

      Have your child draw a smiley face or place a sticker on the calendar, or have them draw their observations.


      Have your child draw a smiley face or place a sticker on the calendar and have them write down their observations.

      Optional: Speech-to-text software (voice-typing) is a fun way to capture spontaneous observations in real-time.



       GROWTH CHART – Pre-K and K

      Pre-K and K: Check off as you see the steps develop


      WHAT DO I SEE?






      The pins are coming out of the box




      The caps are beginning to form




      The stems are growing




      The caps are getting bigger




      There are gills under the caps




      The mushrooms are ready to harvest





       GROWTH CHART - Elementary

      Elementary: Check off as you see the steps develop and draw your observation



      WHAT DO I SEE?






      The pins are coming out of the box




      The caps are beginning to form




      The stems are growing




      The caps are getting bigger




      There are gills under the caps




      The mushrooms are ready to harvest





      • Wash hands for 20 seconds long

      (20 seconds  = sing happy birthday once)

      • Create a Mushroom greeting!

      (high five, handshake, hug, fist bump)

      • Create a Family Farming song!

      (use a familiar tune, but change the words)

      • Wear some farming clothes
      • Put things back where they belong

      (Let children put their own belongings away)

      • Wash hands and enjoy a snack together
      • Have your child share what they have learned with a family member
      • Complete the calendar daily
      • Complete the Wordsearch (Advanced K and Elementary)