Seeds are actually immature plants. Think of them as baby plants with a thick, hard coat on them, like a baby chick inside an egg. The hard seed coat gives the baby plants protection until the right conditions are available for them to grow. When those conditions are right—good light, warm temperature, and ample moisture—the seedling comes out to start life as a new plant.
In this activity, you'll germinate some seeds, then watch as they grow and change into full size plants. Not only is this activity fascinating, it also provides a great opportunity to build basic science and nature knowledge along the way.
What You Need:
- Seeds – any kind – just a few
- Paper towel
- Plastic bag that zips
- Half cup of water
- Observation sheet
What You Do:
- Fold a paper towel so that it fits just inside the plastic zip-top bag. Place the paper towel in the plastic bag.
- Help your child use the ruler and measure 3 inches from the top of the bag and staple a bunch of staples in a row across the bag. Now you should have a miniature pocket. Your seeds will sit here.
- Pour the half cup of water into the bag so your seeds have something to drink.
- Have your child put your seeds into the bag so that they rest between the plastic and the paper towel in the upper mini pocket you've created. Then help her zip up the bag so that no air can get in or out. You've just made a mini green house!
- Help your child tape your mini green house to a window so it gets plenty of light.
- Use the printable observation sheet to track your seedlings' progress. Each day, check the green house together with your child and ask her what she thinks may be happening. Does she see anything beginning to sprout up?
- After and few days (maybe even a couple of weeks depending on what kind of seeds you use) you will see roots and seedlings beginning to form. Carefully open your bag up and use a staple remover to remove the staples (a grown up should do this part).
- The seedlings are very fragile so make sure you handle them with care! Once you've gently removed them from your mini greenhouse, help your child to carefully plant the sprouted seeds into a pot of planting soil. Make sure you only cover the seeds to just above the top of the seed so that it is just covered with about an inch of soil. You don't want to bury them! Nurture your new plant and see what it turns into!