The DIY Mini Plastic Bottle Greenhouse Seed Germination Activity requires simple materials and it doesn’t take long to see results. It pairs beautifully with our Germinating Seeds in a Bag activity! You can watch the whole process from start to finish within the plastic bottle OR you can sprout the seeds in a bag, then transfer them to the DIY greenhouse.

Plant germinated in a plastic bottle mini greenhouse activity for kids

Recommended Grade Level:

Mini Greenhouse Supplies:

  • Recycled Plastic Bottle
  • Potting Soil
  • Water/spray bottle
  • Scissors
  • Beans

Sprouting beans is a really fun, easy activity to do with young kids to get them curious and informed about seed germination. The whole process is so simple, but yet it teaches how we go through the scientific process by posing questions, making predictions, tracking results, and analyzing outcomes. In preschool?! Yes!

Learning About Seed Germination:

SEED GERMINATION ACTIVITY FOR PRESCHOOL

PLANTING SEEDS WITH PRESCHOOLERS IS AN AMAZING OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THE PROCESS FROM SEED TO PLANT.

The best way to learn something is by doing it, right? Growing seeds in preschool is the perfect opportunity to get those green thumbs in the dirt to experience the magic of seed to plant!

Making a mini greenhouse from a plastic bottle doesn’t require many materials, but it teaches many fine scientific processes and principles that your students won’t soon forget. And, they’ll be able to apply the same steps to future science projects and experiments.

Bean seeds are quite easy to grow and they don’t take terribly long to start witnessing change! Trust me, your students will not lose interest while they wait for the seeds to grow because every day they will witness slight changes as the tiny seeds soak up the water and begin the process of germination.

If you’re looking, you’ll probably find 35 seed activities for young kids, all with different variations! I love the simplicity of this experiment. I also love that you can pair it with our seeds in a bag germination activity. What if you started a few seeds in the bottle and a few seeds in a bag and then compared the results?

This gardening activity is ideal in the spring and can be completed anytime:

  • Learning center (teacher-directed)
  • During a snow storm (yes, some of us get those in the spring) or rainy day
  • Outdoors on a more pleasant spring day
  • Whole-class science lesson

In addition to learning how a seed becomes a plant, you can teach students about the scientific process:

  • What does the seed need to grow?
  • How do you think the seed will change overnight? After 2 days? A week?
  • Can you draw a picture of the bean each day? How did it change/not change?
  • What is your prediction?
Mini greenhouse from plastic bottles with plants sprouting

What Scientific Principles Can Preschoolers Learn?

EXPLORING THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS WITH PRESCHOOL SEED ACTIVITIES

PLANTING ACTIVITIES ALLOW KIDS TO GROW KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SCIENTIFIC PROCESS OF OBSERVING, HYPOTHESIZING, TESTING, ANALYZING, AND CONCLUDING.

Your students will learn how a seed becomes a plant, but they will also learn the steps to apply to any science experiment:

  • Predict
  • Experiment
  • Watch what happens
  • Analyze results
mini plastic bottle greenhouse planting activity for preschoolers

Why Are Seed Activities for Preschoolers Important?

Besides the fact that kids love playing in dirt, there are lots of other reasons to plant seeds and explore other areas of Science.

Enhances Problem-Solving

Planting seeds, tracking results, comparing difference or changing elements of the experiment help children build important problem-solving skills.

Nurtures Curiosity

Planting easy seeds to grow in preschool brings out curiosity in kids. What does it need to grow? When will it sprout? How long before it gets leaves? How much light does it need? All of these questions, and more, can be answered by experimenting with a little soil and seed.

Improves Language/Vocabulary

Learning words like germinate, seed, sprout, moisture, soil, or other life cycle terms will enhance young kids’ vocabulary and build important background knowledge for further discovery.

Introduces Scientific Process

Regardless of the topic, the scientific process is one we can introduce at an early age because the process itself is simple. As topics become more complex, children will have a good handle on the process of observing, hypothesizing, testing, analyzing, and concluding.

plastic bottle cut in half and filled with dirt to create a mini greenhouse

How To Make the DIY Greenhouse

How to Make the Activity

Materials:

  • Recycled Plastic Bottle
  • Potting Soil
  • Water/spray bottle
  • Scissors
  • Beans

Directions:

  1. Prepare the plastic bottle by washing and drying.
  2. Cut the bottle about 2/3 from bottom with scissors, reserving the top as a removeable lid.
  3. Fill the bottom half with soil.
  4. Place one bean seed into the soil, pushing slightly so that it is firmly in place but not covered entirely.
  5. Keep moist by removing the lid and spraying the seed every other day or so.
  6. Place the bottle in a light/sunny window sill. The temperature should be around 70 degrees.
  7. Wait and watch! It usually takes about a week for the beans to sprout.

Note: You can begin the seeds in a plastic bag with moist paper towel until the seed opens up, or begins to sprout, then place it in the dirt.

plastic bottle cut in half and filled with dirt to create a mini greenhouse
Plastic bottle greenhouse seed germinating activity
Seed germination activity using mini greenhouses made from plastic bottles

Seed Art Projects

Take those leftover beans that didn’t make it into the greenhouse and make something beautiful! Seeds of various colors, shapes, and sizes make great mosaics.

Types of Seeds

As you wait for your bean seeds to sprout, you can explore other types of seeds. Or, consider planting a few different types in your DIY greenhouse to compare results.

Creative Storytelling

Use Gail Gibbons’ book, “From Seed to Plant,” to give your children background knowledge and vocabulary while waiting for your seeds sprout.

growing seeds in mini greenhouses made with plastic bottles

Find even more engaging activities in the Life Over C’s shop!

author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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