With spring in the air and gardening a great homeschool activity, I thought a fun experiment was appropriate. Why not have fun in your homeschool & encourage a love of learning with the Bean Plant Experiment for Kids?
This is one of the easiest plant science projects you’ll ever do – the bean plant experiment for kids. When I taught public school, I did this every year with my science classes. All 30 kids had bean plants growing on our classroom windows.
One reason I love this project is it is so simple, but teaches so much about plants (root growth, plant growth, photosynthesis, and so forth)
If you are homeschooling, you probably have all the supplies at home right now. All it takes for each child is 4 pinto beans, 1 paper towel, 1 plastic baggie, 4 staples and some tape (forgot to include the tape:-)
Fold your paper towel in half. Fold it in half again. Insert the folded paper towel into the baggie. I like the fold & close baggies because it is lightweight and stays open at the top. You can use a ziploc if you like.
Place 4 staples along the bottom edge. Leave about 1″ from the edge to allow for the roots to grow.
On top of each staple, place a pinto bean. We alternate the beans upside down to see how the roots grow when they start coming out of the bean top.
Tape the baggie to the window. Be sure your child can reach the top to water the plant. If you have several kids, write their name on the baggie with a Sharpie.
Water your plant. You don’t want to drown your plant, but you do want your paper towel to be completely soaked. It’s okay to have a little water in the bottom of the baggie as you can see in the photo.
Use your nature journal to track the growth of your bean plant. Draw a picture of the bean each day. Be sure to label the date. I’ll be posting updates of our bean plants.
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What spring projects are you doing this year? Post a comment. I will be giving away a copy of “Habitats for Birds: How to Create an Inviting Backyard for Birds” to 2 readers who post a comment this week. Or check out the Science Share & Tell
We walked past a preschool the other day, with a window full of baggies just like this one. I wonder how other seeds would do – I think it would be interesting for my older kids to try a few different seeds, and collect data on rates of germination, growth, etc.
What a good idea. Pinto beans do well because you see growth almost immediately. I’ll post some updated photos.
This is such a great idea!
Glad you like it. I need to post follow up photos for the roots growing out of the bean.
Interested in the math problems nd science experiments and lnks. Thank you.
Sorry for any confusion. There’s a box on the post where you can enter your email for the Spring Math & Science printable. It’s the fastest way to get them b/c they are automatically emailed to the email address you choose.
I would like the math problems and science experiment/ links. Regarding spring projects, we are putting in our garden. We are also making bird houses out of gourds we grew last year. Lastly, we are planning a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for my parents.
There’s a box on the post where you can enter your email for the Spring Math & Science printable. We still have the bird house that my kids made at Cousins Camp with my parents. I love it. I’ve never made a bird house from a gourd…cool! Enjoy the 50th celebration. My parents’ 50th was a few years ago. So much fun to see all their friends on one day.
What a great idea to place the staples in the baggie to separate the roots from the beans. Never thought of that one before! Thanks!
The bean experiment is one of my faves. I like the idea of using the staple to hold up the bean! Why didn’t I think of that? lol! The daily journal is a great idea, too. We’ll have to add that to our lesson plan.
I’m also looking for tips to improve our experiments. Feel free to share any other ideas you have.
I’m planning on doing it with my kids next week. Question, why tape it to the window? Cause of the light? Since it’s January it’s kinda cold outside, I’m afraid if I put it next to the window the roots won’t grow…any ideas? thanks!
I taped it to the window for light and so the kids can easily see the roots & stem growing. You might try a 2nd experiment. Tape one to the window and another somewhere else in the house. See if there is a difference.
Will try it and see the difference 🙂 thanks! They are going to love it!
I love this! It’s so easy to put together, and my son is excited to see what comes of it.
Dumb question, but how often should we be watering them? I just did this with my son, and realized I have no idea when we should water them next. I’m horrible with plants, and would hate to kill his science experient. :/
We watered the beans when the paper towel started to dry out. If you see it is dry, water immediately 🙂 Good luck!
I forgot to say…you don’t want to overwater. You don’t want water leaking out the bottom every day, so it’s ok for the paper towel to dry a bit.
Perfect. Thanks for answering! We’ll keep watching the paper towel. 🙂
Question: Do we have to use pinto beans or will any do?
I’m not sure. I would think any bean would do since they come from plants. That would be an interesting experiment to try different beans.
We used black beans in our experiment 🙂
Thanks for sharing what you did. Good to know you can use different types of beans.
Thanks, y’all! I think we’ll try several different beans. Thanks for the idea!
What a neat experiment. This will definitely be added to the bean unit I’m putting together. Thanks!
this is such a great idea!!! I recall doing this as a kid! I can’t wait to try it with my class!!
Does it work with any kind of beans?
I tend to have pinto beans, so that’s what I’ve always used. My guess is it works with any type of bean.
I was wondering if you could tell me how you placed the pretty green direction letters with the vine design onto the baggies. and/or where did you purchase them?
Special education teacher
Sorry I’ve been out of town & catching up.
I used “cheap” baggies (fold over sandwich bags). Then I placed the beans above staplers so the vine grows up the baggie. See the images on this post.
How did you keep the beans in position?
I place a staple about 1 inch from the bag bottom. Then place the bean on top of each of the 4 staples. Take a look at the photos above.
Sounds like a silly question, but what do you do with the beans after they have sprouted and have roots??
If I plant will they grow bean plants or just a regular plant?
It’s not a silly question. You can plan the beans in a container or in the ground, but I don’t think they will produce anything. It will be a regular plant.
When I was in 5th, we used Lima Beans. Another teacher used pintos, and some used other various beans.
I used pinto beans when I taught 5th grade, but I think all can work fine.
Please send me the Spring Math Problems and Plant Science Experiment & Links! Looking forward to trying the bean experiment! Thank you!