How the Mushroom Got Its Spots

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In this activity (p.26 of PDF), learners discover why mushrooms have spots. Learners use a balloon, toilet paper, and water to simulate what happens as mushrooms grow. This activity can also function as a group demonstration.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A standard size round balloon (preferably red)
  • A roll of white toilet paper
  • Water (in a dropper bottle if possible)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Protists and Fungi

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Assinder, Sue ; Rutter, Gordon


  • All rights reserved, British Mycological Society and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, 2002

Funding Sources:

  • British Mycological Society
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council