Exploring Germination

Growing Beans in a Bag

| April 2023

Here’s an activity to get kids excited for spring! With just a Ziploc bag, a few dried beans, a paper towel, and a dose of patience children can observe the wonder of nature’s new growth right in the classroom!



  1. Place a damp, folded paper towel into a Ziploc bag.
  2. Insert 5 staples about halfway up the bag. This will keep the beans in the right place so that there's room to watch the roots grow. 

Insert 5 staples

      3. Place a few beans into the bag.

Place a few beans in the bag

     4. Tape the bag onto a wall or window. Add water as needed to keep the paper towel damp. 


Watch what happens!

Three days after “planting” the first roots appear.  

The first roots appear

And a few days later: The stems start to push upward.  

The stems start to push upward

After ten days the leaves begin to peek out of the seed coat. 

The leaves begin to peek out of the seed coat

And at two weeks, the first true leaves appear while the stem continues to grow and grow!

First true leaves appear

One student brought his bean shoot home, transplanted it in dirt, and proudly reported that his plant grew three bean pods!

This one grew three bean pods!

Projects and Activities, Connecting with Nature, Gardening with Children