This is one of those activities that every kid should do at least once. I love how easy it is to set up, too!
Note: We used a Lima bean, but any dry bean should work.
- Wet several cotton balls and place them in a jar. You want the cotton balls to be wet but not too saturated. Then wedge a bean between the cotton balls and up against the jar so that your child can easily observe the bean growing
- Have your child predict what will happen to the bean, and then observe the jar over the next several days. Add a few drops of water to the cotton balls as needed.
- The bean will begin to change fairly quickly. Our beanstalk was beginning to form after just one day
This is what our bean looked like after a few days
And after just one week
My girls loved checking on the beans throughout the week, and they loved watching them grow!
As we grew our magic beanstalk we discussed seeds/beans, how plants grow, and what plants need to thrive. I asked Rosie and Jewel questions along the way like:
- Do you think our bean would grow if it didn't have water?
- Do you think the bean would grow if we put the jar in a closet away from sunlight?
- How do you think the bean is taking in the water from the cotton balls?
I loved hearing their answers and watching their minds come to understand the science behind plants. We also loved tying the story of Jack & the Beanstalk into our experiment. It was really fun to read about Jack and his magic beanstalk while growing our own "magic stalk"!
Other books that you could read & enjoy with your child while doing this activity:
(Click the photos to view the books)
Other Science experiments to try with your child: