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Friday, February 28, 2014

When Plants Get Hungry

A review of the Feed Me! series of workshops at Gardens by the Bay. This is a bite-sized version of the review that was written for Little Day Out, a Singapore-based website that provides information and updates on the best of Singapore for families with young children.

The amazing Venus flytrap!
“Venus flytrap!” shouted the children. “Venus flytrap!” echoed our little son Z.

It was a lovely Saturday morning and our little group of about 30 children and parents were huddled in a comfortable room engaged in a busy craft activity. Using the recycled materials provided, the children had created their version of the Venus flytrap, one of the three carnivorous plants we learned about that day. Children were then led in a simple game where they had to use their newly-created “insect-eaters” to trap their partner’s “flies”. And everyone was happy.

The group of us had been specially invited to preview one of four children’s workshops taking place during the March holidays at Gardens by the Bay. Our workshop was recommended for the ages of four to six and intended as an experiential learning journey for children to learn why carnivorous plants capture the insects that serve as extra nourishment for them.

Meet the seductive pitcher plant.
One of the benefits of having a workshop at the Gardens was that its two huge cooled conservatories each house thousands of plants. The children were introduced to the pitcher plant, butterworth and Venus flytrap, and listened attentively as the guide explained how the sweet nectar in the pitcher plant helped to drug the insects so that they would not be able to escape from it. They were then intrigued by the butterworth and how it used its sticky leaves to trap insects. The children were, however, the most fascinated by the Venus flytrap and its snapping mechanism, which was the key manner in which the plant catches its insects.

Learning comes alive at Gardens by the Bay
The two-hour Feed Me! workshops will be held at the Gardens from 15-22 March 2014.


For more information on the workshops, as well as other educational programmes at the Gardens, check out this website.

The complete version of the review can be found on the Little Day Out website here.

You may also wish to carry out some follow up activities for your children. Here are some suggested resources for your reference:


For us, our 3-year-old will next be learning about the letter "C"; so perhaps he will learn that "C" is for "Carnivorous Plants"!

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