Planting and growing beans is a tradition in many preschool classrooms. This simple science activity is perfect when paired with the classic tale of Jack and the Beanstalk at school or home.
Growing their very own “beanstalk” is a very meaningful and memorable learning experience for all young children.
Growing a Beanstalk with Lima Beans
This science experience will allow your children to observe the changes in plant growth over time. It may be difficult for kids to wait for their beans to start growing, but once it does you won’t be able to get them away from it!
Growing a Beanstalk Supplies
To get started growing your own beanstalks you will need the following supplies:
- cotton balls (paper towels also work well)
- bag of dried beans
- clear container
I used a glass jar, but you can use any type of clear container you may have on hand. The most important thing is that the kids can see what is happening to their beans and watch them grow.
How do you grow a magic beanstalk?
First, invite your children to stuff the clear container with cotton balls. Then, invite them to place a few of the dried beans around the edges of the cup. I used lima beans, but you may wish to try another type of bean.
Finally, add just enough water to moisten the cotton balls being careful not to over water.
Children will enjoy watering their seeds with a misting bottle which is also great for fine motor practice.
Waiting for a Beanstalk to Grow
Invite your kids to observe their beans every day and record (draw) their observations on paper or in a science notebook.
After only a few days, you will begin to notice some changes to the beans.
How long does it take to grow a beanstalk plant?
After seven days you should start to see a good amount of growth in the bean plants. They may grow a bit of mold, but this is normal. Invite your kids to discuss the changes they notice and why they think these changes are happening.
You can see the roots clearly through the container. Take this opportunity to read a non-fiction book about roots with your children to build background knowledge, such as Roots by Vijaya Bodach.
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