March 25, 2021

The "Developing Enrichment Materials" Part of the Writing Life

Recently, I had the opportunity to write a guest post on my publisher's blog, where I shared childhood memories of gardening with my Gram, and I provided instructions for an indoor planting activity to do with kids.  

I had so much fun putting that post together, I thought it might be nice to share another indoor planting activity here. As with the first, this activity uses supplies you likely have at home, or could easily obtain from your neighborhood grocery store. 

Here is the activity:

Observe the Germination Process of a Seed, Bean or Pea

Supplies Needed

Old canning jar (or clear plastic cup) 

Paper towels 

3-5 seeds (bean and pea seeds grow quickly.) You can also try using dried, uncooked beans or peas from your kitchen pantry that have been soaked in water overnight. 

Spoon or small measuring cup




1. Squeeze several sections of paper towel into loose wads, then stuff the paper towel wads into the canning jar, until it is full. 

2. Add spoonfuls of water to moisten the paper towel. The paper should be very wet, but not so wet that the water pools at the bottom of the jar.

3. Place the seeds into the canning jar, positioning each seed so that it can be seen through the glass and fits snugly between the jar and the wet paper towel. Be careful that each seed rests on a wrinkle or fold in the paper towel and does not fall to the bottom of the jar. 

4. Place the jar in a warm place that gets plenty of natural light, such as a windowsill. 

5. Observe your seeds daily, adding water to the paper towels as needed to keep them moist. It will likely take three or more days for your seeds to begin to sprout. 

6. Record and discuss your observations as the seed sprouts begin to open, develop roots, and grow stems and leaves. 

7. Consider completing this activity with multiple jars, using different types of seeds in each jar.  Observe and compare which seeds sprout the fastest and which grow the tallest. 

8. For added learning and fun, fill an additional canning jar 3/4 full with potting soil, and gently press 2-3 seeds into the soil. Fully cover the seeds with 1/2 inch of additional soil, then moisten the soil with spoonfuls of water. Place the jar with the soil next to the jar(s) with the moist paper towels. Hypothesize what is happening to the seeds beneath the surface in the jar with the soil, as you observe what is happening to the seeds germinating in the jar(s) with the moist paper towels.

9. Consider pairing this activity with a storytime filled with planting-themed books, such as Lucy's Blooms and other titles from this list I've compiled.

by Dawn Babb Prochovnic and Alice Brereton

May you make many happy memories exploring the wonders of nature with a child you love!  

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