Collecting Pollen

Collecting Pollen


  • cotton swabs
  • clear tape
  • sandwich sized baggies
  • masking tape
  • permanent marker

Background Information

Pollen grains vary in color and shape. Only pollen specific to a given plant can fertilize that plant. Pollen can be shades of yellow, orange, green, brown, and blue. It can also be white or grey.


When collecting pollen, children can use cotton swabs or clear tape. If you use flowers from a florist, make sure that the anthers haven’t been removed. Ask the children to gently touch the tape or cotton swab to the anther of the flower. Generally the pollen lifts easily. If they are using tape, have them fold their piece of tape and place it in a baggie. Use masking tape to label the baggie with the name of the flower or its description. If they’re using a cotton swab, just place the cotton swab the bag and label.

Back in the classroom, let the children use hand lenses or microscopes to examine their pollen. They can discuss their pollen’s color and any discoveries they have made. (In collecting, the shape is often altered so the pollen’s shape can’t be judged.)

Activity provided by:

Fontenelle Forest
1111 N. Bellevue Blvd.
Bellevue, NE 68005

_ 0-1
_ 1-2
_ 2-3
✓ 3-4
✓ 4-5
✓ 5-6

Category: Group Activities

Iowa Early Learning Standards:
8.1, 8.2, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 12.1, 12.4, 12.5, 14.3

Related Kindernature Resources: