Growing a bean seed in a bag is an easy and engaging way for young children to learn some of their first lessons in plant biology! Each day they can check the progress of their seed and watch as it changes from a tiny seed to a plant with roots and a stem. This is the perfect spring science activity to do at home or in the classroom.
Sprout a Bean Seed in a Bag
We gathered a few simple items to get our little seed sprouting:
- A plastic zip top baggie (We used a sandwich size baggie, but a quart-size baggie works, too.)
- One paper towel
- A few bean seeds (We used dry pinto beans from the pantry.)
Getting everything set up was super easy. First we folded up the paper towel so that it fit easily inside the plastic baggie. I got it wet and slipped it into the baggie.
I grabbed a few dry pinto beans from the pantry and placed them inside the baggie right on top of the paper towel. Any variety of dried bean should work (pinto, black, lentil, navy, etc.). Green bean seeds can also be purchased at a gardening store.
We sealed the plastic baggie shut and set it on the counter for observation over the next couple of weeks.
Spring Science for Kids
We checked our beans each day to see how they were changing. The kids noticed right away that there was quite a bit of condensation inside the baggie. It was like we created our own little greenhouse for our bean in a bag!
After about 5 days we noticed that one of the seeds started to germinate! It was so cool to see a little shoot poking out from the seed coat.
After a few more days we noticed that more of the seeds were sprouting. We could see the roots grow and spread out across the paper towel. It was so cool to see how the seeds changed and grew every day. Since our baggie was clear and the roots were right on top of the paper towel, we got a very unique and detailed look into how seeds sprout and grow!
We kept our bean seed in a bag for about two weeks. By then a few of the bean plants grew so tall they started pushing up against the plastic baggie!
After two weeks we pulled the paper towel out of the baggie to get a better look at the root systems and the growing stems. The paper towel dried out quickly and our little plants died within a day. I guess we could have tried to transfer the seedlings into dirt to see if they would grow some more, but this time around we were just interested in watching them sprout. Maybe next time. 🙂