autumn activity - mushroom spore printing

autumn activity - mushroom spore printing

mushroom prints

a didactic exercise, a chance to learn from nature, a hands-on science class… we love it as it starts with an outdoor roaming activity in nature.

lesson number one is to explain the importance of fungi in the ecosystem. encourage your children to observe different species of mushrooms and toadstools on the woodland floor, on tree trunks and decaying wood. a magnifying glass and notebook can be useful. it’s fun to try and identify the species - some of their names are hilariously descriptive!

mushroom printingwhat you will need

1 a basket for the mushrooms. try and find some with gills (or you can cheat by buying portobello mushrooms)

2 gloves (some species are poisonous)

3 a knife

4 paper or card in different colours

5 old newspaper

6 lids or glass bells

7 fixative or hair spray (optional)

safety warning:
this is a fun activity for children and adults to do together.  but please wear gloves and make sure children don’t put fingers in mouths as some mushrooms might be toxic! 

a safe option with young children is to use shop-bought mushrooms

mushroom printing


1 gently pull or cut stalk off each mushroom

2 spread newspaper out and place a sheet of card on top

3 place single or groups of mushroom gill-side down on the card

4 cover with a lid or glass bell

5 leave overnight

6 lift lid to discover a spore print!

7 to preserve your spore print, gently spray with fixative

mushroom printing

mushroom printing

mushroom printing

we love the variety in colour, texture and size. a framed spore print and a spore greetings card makes an unusual and entirely unique present.

have fun!




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