Teach Children Science with Seeds

The Activity Mom

Seed starting can be a fun and economical way to teach children about science. A good target age group would be children three years and older.


Science With Seeds - How?

Seed starting with children offers many opportunities to teach science. It is a hands-on way to teach children the methodology of scientific experimentation. Seed starting also provides training in patience, as they must wait for the seeds to germinate, sprout, and be harvested. By caring for the seedlings and plants, they learn responsibility. The total gardening season exposes them to science, nutrition, and the food/plant/life cycle.

Choosing Seeds

To avoid frustration for the kids, choose fast germinating, heavy producing seeds. The faster the baby plants shoot up, the sooner the children will see the results of their labor.

Tip: Soak the seeds in warm water the day before planting.

Some varieties that are kid pleasers are:

  • bush beans
  • lemon
  • cucumbers
  • Red Riding Hood lettuce
  • Tom Thom tomatoes

How to Start the Seeds

Pick containers with drainage holes. If you are recycling household items like plastic tubs, wash well, and punch several holes for water to seep out. Send the kids on a rock hunt, and let them place their finds in the container. This gives you another teachable moment; discuss geology, how rocks are formed, and identify the different rocks.

Next, add the growth medium, soil from your yard, potting soil, or peat pellets if you are starting seeds in cups or small containers. Let your future scientists make a hole for the seeds, add one or two seeds, and cover with soil. Talk about making a warm bed for the seeds, so they will wake up and begin to grow. This would be a great lead-in to helping them draw the life cycle of a plant.

Water with a gentle mist until the soil is moist. Place seeds in a warm place or on a plant growing mat. Check every day for signs of propagation. It can be fun to track the progress of the seeds in a gardening journal. When the first green shoots appear, place them in an area that receives some daily sunlight. Return them to their warm place at night, as seedlings require warmth and shelter to become strong.


photo courtesy of flyinblood at PixaBay

Finishing the Science Lesson

When the last frost date is passed, the kids can transplant plant starts outdoors. If you decide to do container gardening, the finishing touch is to find a sunny windowsill. The children will enjoy watching their plants grow and thrive.

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