Age

1.5 years and up

Time and Place

⚙ Any time of day

⚙ Any time of year (indoors); growing season (outdoors)
⚙ Indoors (at least until plants germinate) and outd
oors (if transferring to planters)

Materials 

⚙ Bean seeds (peas can also be used)
⚙ Damp paper towel (cotton balls can also be used)  

⚙ Sandwich bags or mason jars
⚙ Potting soil

⚙ Planters 
⚙ Watering can or container

                                   

Optional Materials 

​⚙ Recycled materials to create planters or watering cans (e.g., yogurt containers)                         

Safety 

⚙ Supervise children at all times 

Instructions 

Play-based Context

Place one or two bean seeds on a piece of wet paper towel inside a sandwich bag or mason jar. Set aside for a few days until plants germinate. Encourage the children to observe the plants every day noting changes. Children can take pictures or videos to document plant growth. When roots, stem and leaves are visible transfer plants to planter with potting soil. Engage the children in caring for the bean plants (e.g., watering them). Once the bean pods are ready to harvest, let the children open, observe, and smell them. 

Toddlers noticed the changes in trees and little plants growing in the play yard at the beginning of spring. Educators supported the children’s interest by setting up a bean growing learning experience. 

Questions You May Ask 

⚙ What do you notice about the bean plants?

⚙ What changes have you observed in the bean plants since [last week, last month]?          

⚙ What will your bean plants need in order to grow? 
⚙ What can we use to measure the growth of your bean
plants?

⚙ When you open the bean pods, what do you [see, smell,  taste]

⚙ What other plants do you see growing in the yard?    

Related Children's Books

One Bean by Anne Rockwell
The Cool Bean by Jory John
Jack and the Beanstalk (Traditional fairy tale) 
 

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