Activity time: 5 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Leader Resource 1, Photo of Bean Plant
- Bean seeds, at least four per child
- Paper towels, at least one per child, or cotton balls, at least six per child, moistened
- Clean, clear plastic bags, one per child, and a permanent marker, such as a Sharpie (TM)
- Dry paper towels
- Optional: Digital camera or smartphone
Preparation for Activity
- Print Leader Resource 1, Photo of Bean Plant, to show the children.
- Write the name of each child, in permanent marker, on a plastic bag.
- Spread the beans seeds on a tray.
Description of Activity
Invite the children to the activity table. Allow them time to play with the beans, feel their texture, and inspect them. Say, in these words or your own:
We won’t be able to see what is happening with the bulbs we just planted, because they are underground, but we can watch what happens with these bean seeds. Inside each little bean is the growing force that will turn it into a root, a sprout, and leaves!
Describe how to plant the seed. Give each child a moistened paper towel (or cotton balls), the plastic bag with their name on it, and four bean seeds. Help the children put the moist towel or cotton balls in the bag first, place the seeds between the plastic and the towel or cotton balls, then close the bag. Tell the children that when they get home, they should place the bag near a window so that the bean seeds get sunlight, which they need in order to grow. They may see a sprout in just a few days! Say, in these words or your own:
When a bean seed starts to grow, we say that it “germinates.” In order for a seed to germinate, it needs water, material to grow in, and warmth from sunlight. When all these needs have been met, the seed soaks up the water through the seed coat. The tiny plant inside the seed starts to grow larger and larger. Once it is too big for the seed, the seed coat breaks open. First a root pops out, and after a while you’ll see a shoot that contains the stem and leaves. When there are two or three leaves, the plant is ready to make its own food and can be planted in a pot with soil.
Invite the children to clean up. Have them wipe the activity table with paper towels and put away the supplies. Have everyone wash their hands when they’re done.
Optional: Line up the plastic bags and take a picture.
Adapted from Green Education Foundation’s “How to Grow Beans in a Plastic Bag.”
Including All Participants
A child with challenges focusing on an activity might be invited to make bags for the Chalice Children meeting room.