Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gardening with Kids - Seed to Plant in Clear Cup

When gardening with Kids, it is really beneficial to start with seeds. Kids are able to put a tiny seed into the soil and see it emerge into a plant that will flower, fruit and even feed them! Seed starters can be anything little pots, egg cartonsyogurt cups, fruit rindtoilet paper roll etc. But it really is fun to see them grow in a clear container, that way the kids get to see each stage of seed to plant - from germination to becoming a plant. 
 We have done a similar activity last year when I had used mustard seeds. But those tiny seeds were hard to see. So, this time I chose beans seeds. I had soaked them overnight to speed up the process. Putti sowed bean seeds in a clear plastic cup and watered it daily. She noticed a small sprout on the very next day and a little root growing down on day 3.
Each day when Putti would wake up she'd go over and look at her plant that was growing and talk about the changes from previous day. She would in fact check it several times in a day, patience is something she is slowly building up. If you notice, you can see the root has grown longer. the seed(cotyledon) is split open and shoot is just about coming up.  
On Day 5, one of the shoots had popped out of the soil with 2 tiny leaves with the seed still attached.
 And next day, all 3 seeds had grown into little saplings with a strong stem and a network of roots. 
 In the next couple days, they were big enough to be transferred into individual pots.We talked about how as the plants grow big, they will need more food and thus the need of bigger pot.

I carefully removed them from the cup and we examined their root system. We then replanted them into bigger pots in our patio garden. Putti is now watching their rapid growth outside with much excitement! She is eagerly waiting for the day it grows beans. This is a fantastic way to learn the life cycle of a seed and Putti was sucked into this process and completely fascinated by it. 

Some of the Books we read:  

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan
I'm A Seed by Jean Marzollo
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
One LIttle Seed by Elaine Greenstein
Seeds Grow! by Angela Shelf Medearis
Over in the Garden by Jennifer Ward

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I love how you can see all the parts of the seed as it grows. Wonderful exploration of science and nature!

I did this with my preschoolers, but I cut the top off a gatorade bottle, filled 3/4 with soil, then let the kids plant carrot seeds. It has been fun watching the roots grow clear to the bottom of the bottle. The carrot plants are now residing in our garden, and the kids are enjoying watching that process, and will soon get to eat the result of their work :) I agree with you, that it is important that children experience this from start to end. :)

So fantastic! I haven't thought about this for my little ones- 28 months - but, now (thanks to you) I think I'll give it a try. Thank you so much!

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