Planting grass seed and growing grass indoors in a cup is the perfect science experiment for preschoolers. Grass grows very quickly and easily in many different environments, both indoors and outdoors. Your kids will love growing grass at home or in the classroom with only a few basic materials.
This fun and engaging science activity will help your kids learn about the needs of a plant and allow them to observe changes over time.
Growing Grass in Preschool
The process of planting, caring for, and growing their very own grass seeds is also a great way for kids to develop fine motor skills. As they scoop dirt, sprinkle seeds, and use spray bottles to water their grass daily they’ll be exercising the small muscles in their hands that will eventually be needed for writing.
You can introduce the concept of growing grass to your kids by initiating a discussion about what seeds need to grow … soil, water, and sunlight. When you have discussions with your students you’re building critical background knowledge about how plants grow.
Reading a book about seeds and growing is another way to build background knowledge and spark discussion. Planting Seeds by Kathryn Clay is perfect for preschoolers!
As their grass begins to grow, talk with your kids how the roots absorb the moisture (water) and nutrients from the soil.
Growing Grass Supplies
Here are the supplies you’ll need to plant grass at home or school.
- plastic cup or container for planting (one per child)
- tray to hold containers
- potting soil
- toy shovel or measuring cup
- grass seed
- watering can or water spray bottle
- craft sticks
- permanent marker
How to Grow Grass in the Classroom
Invite kids to fill their cups 3/4 of the way to the top with potting soil using a small toy shovel or measuring cup. I have used clear, disposable cups, school milk cartons, and yogurt containers for planting grass seeds over the years, they all work well so use whatever you have on hand.
Next, invite children to sprinkle grass seed on top of the dirt. Planting grass seed is not an exact science; no specific measurements are necessary. The more seeds that are sprinkled on top of the dirt, the more grass will grow. Some sources say to place a little more dirt on top of the seeds, but I have found it isn’t really necessary.
After the seeds have been sprinkled on top of the dirt, invite your kids to water the soil. I like to use water spray bottles because they provide opportunities for fine motor practice. The grass is less likely to become over watered with a spray bottle.
Use a permanent marker to write each child’s name on a craft stick and place it inside their container of grass seed. Using craft sticks will allow your kids to easily locate and identify their own cups.
Then, place the cups in a sunny location near a window where they will receive sunlight. Remind your kids to water their plants each day to keep the potting soil moist.
Growing Grass in the Classroom
If cared for properly, your grass seeds may begin to grow in about one to two weeks depending on where you live. Continue to water the cups daily, even after the seeds begin to sprout.
Invite children to observe their cups daily in the science center and record their observations in science notebooks or journals so they can track growth over time.
Ask kids to help you measure the growth of the grass daily and record growth on a class chart or in individual notebooks to track progress.
When the grass is tall enough, invite the children to “mow” the grass with scissors for additional fine motor practice- and fun!
As a culminating activity to your study of growing grass, create a predictable class chart with the children to record their findings.
Another idea is to plant different types of grass seeds with your kids. You could try comparing growth times of turf grass, warm season grasses, and shade grass seed.