STEAM Saturday – Grow Beans on Cotton Balls! (3/25/2023)

Now that spring is here, it’s time to get our hands dirty and plant some seeds!  You and your children can grow beans using cotton balls!  This very simple experiment will show you just how fast plants can grow.  Be sure to grab your notebook and create a “bean log”.  Have your kids record the appearance of the bean each day by drawing a picture and labeling the parts of the plant as they develop.  Let’s get our supplies ready and grow some beans!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Glass Jar (or you can use a bottle)
  • Cotton Balls
  • Beans

First, stuff your glass jar with cotton balls.  Then take one bean and push it down on the side of the jar.  If you would like to watch two beans grow, take another bean and push it down on the opposite side of the jar.  Next, take your glass jar to the sink and add water.  Make sure the cotton balls are damp but not too wet.  Once your beans are watered, set your jar by a nice sunny window.

It shouldn’t take long for you to notice some changes in your bean!  Within 2-3 days, you should start to see a small root sprouting.  A few days after that, you will notice little tendrils growing.  The bean will then start to develop large shoots coming off the main root.  A week later the bean will sprout big, dark green leaves.  Don’t forget to record these details in your “bean log”!

Once the beans have taken off and are steadily growing, transport them outside to the garden or a large pot.  The roots have probably entangled themselves around all the cotton balls so carefully remove them before planting.  Make sure your beans have plenty of sunlight and don’t forget to water them occasionally!

This experiment presents lots of STEAM learning opportunities.  Help your children learn about life cycles and growth.  Discuss how plants absorb water and how they grow.  Try measuring the growth of the bean and create a growth chart to track the plants progress.

See the full experiment and the science behind it from Joy in the Works HERE.

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve!

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