Kids can watch plants grow while creating decorative greenery for their room, home or classroom. These arty projects offer the perfect way to support learning about plants in a hands-on way.
Seeds are tiny packages containing a tiny plant called an embryo, its food supply, and a protective case called a seed coat. A good way to see the parts of a seed is to soak some dried lima beans in a cater and then split them lengthwise.
Look closely, and you’ll see the tiny plant curled up on one side of the bean. The rest of the bean is food – for the baby plant or the person or animal that eats the bean. Kids can also discover if they can grow plants without seeds.
Sprout Art Activities for Kids
Sprout seeds without soil. You’ll need a new sponge, scissors, mustard seeds (from the supermarket spice section), plastic wrap, and a spray bottle. Cut the sponge into a fun shape like a heart or a star. Soak it in water and then squeeze it, so it is wet but not dripping. Set the sponge on a dish. Sprinkle the sponge with seeds.
At night, cover the sponge with plastic wrap to keep the sponge moist. During the day, remove the wrap and set it in a sunny spot. Spray the sponge with water, so it remains damp. Within a couple of weeks, you should have sprouts that you can put on a sandwich.
You could also build a sculpture from sponges that you cut into small pieces and hold together with cocktail sticks you place within the sponges. Make sure that you have some flat surfaces as the seeds won’t stay on a vertical surface. You could build a sponging house that grows a green roof.
Things to Do with Kids – Grow a Bean Stalk
You’ll need a shallow plastic container, such as one used for sandwiches. Take a sponge and see if it will fit into the tub. If it’s smaller, no problem, but if the sponge is longer than the container, you should trim off the excess. Soak the sponge in water and wring out the water, so the sponge is wet without dripping.
Set the sponge into the container. Place some dried beans on the sponge. Keep enough water in the container, so the sponge stays moist, but avoid covering the sponge with water. Set the container where it will get plenty of light. Each day check that the sponge is damp. Within a couple of weeks, the beans should spout. Plant them in soil and continue to give them sun and water.
Grow a Vegetable Jungle
Have a bit of fun with kids even if they don’t like eating vegetables because they can grow the ends of vegetables into a tabletop jungle.
You’ll need an old, shallow baking pan, enough sand to cover the bottom half-inch of the pan, enough garden soil for a one-inch-deep cover, the top half-inch of five or six fresh carrots, and the top half-inch of three fresh radishes, turnips or beets.
Layer the sand into the pan. Cover the sand with an inch-deep of garden soil. Place the vegetable tops in the soil, at least three inches apart. The very top of the vegetable and the greenery should be above the mud. Water and place in a well-lit area. Within a month, the greenery will grow from the root vegetables.
While sprouting mustard seeds or dried beans, kids can learn about seeds and how they grow. Creating a decorative spot to grow the seeds just adds to the fun. Additional activities for kids allow them to grow an ornamental indoor garden that they start with the tops of root vegetables. Learn about other plant parts as kids. Watch as spring tree buds open or make a sketchbook and keep a nature journal to record your observations of your plants growing.