I was inspired to do this after reading one of our favorite spring books, Seeds! Seeds! Seeds!, by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. The story tells of a bear named Buddy who learns, through various activities, about how seeds grow. At one point, he has a set of drawings of the various stages of a seed as it grows into a plant. His job is to put them in the correct order. I initially thought of making some pictures like that myself, but then I thought it would be much more fun if we could see this in action with a real plant, and thus this activity was born.
This is an incredibly easy spring planting activity that yields very quick, very
satisfying results. We simply filled glass jars loosely with soil and then added three or four dried beans from the kitchen cupboard (pinto and kidney) to the edges of the jar. We covered them lightly with just a bit of soil, and very gently watered them (since there is no drainage in the jar). After just a couple of days, we saw roots beginning to grow down the side of the glass. I had intended to take a series of photos to use to ultimately make a picture card series, but alas, I forgot. These photos were taken today, after they had been growing for ten days.
My initial plan didn't go much past the sprouting stage, but since they are doing so well, we may transplant them and grow them in our balcony garden to see what happens. I highly recommend beans for planting activities for kids because of the astonishing speed with which they grow. We have consistently been able to see progress just over a several hour period. After nap, the plants look different than they did at breakfast time.
And most importantly, is it just me, or does this bean plant look like some crazy alien bird?
This post has been linked to Se7en’s Fabulous Friday Fun blog carnival.