Germinating Seeds in a Bag: Science Experiment for Kids

Germinating seeds in a bag is a fun way for kids to view how seeds transform into plants right before their eyes. Seeds don’t need soil to start germinating, so you can place them in a sunny window and they will start sprouting right away. This allows kids to watch how seeds sprout, which is a process normally hidden by dirt. There is a lot to learn in this experiment, yet it is so simple to do! As long as you have dried beans and some plastic bags, you can make these seed germinating bags.

Watching seeds grow in a bag is a great science lesson for kids. Our seed germination in a bag gives kids the opportunity to see up close how a seed grows.

Materials Needed for the Germinating Seeds in a Bag Experiment:

Fava Broad Windsor Seeds, 20 Premium Heirloom SeedsFava Broad Windsor Seeds, 20 Premium Heirloom SeedsFava Broad Windsor Seeds, 20 Premium Heirloom Seeds

 

Or use this great growing window from Learning Resources:

 EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS Sprout & Grow WindowEDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS Sprout & Grow Window

 

Kids will love sprouting their own seeds in a plastic baggie! With just a few materials, kids can watch seeds sprout by germinating seeds in a bag.

Extend the Activity with Books About Gardening for Kids

 The Bad SeedThe Bad Seed A Seed Is Sleepy: (Nature Books for Kids, Environmental Science for Kids)A Seed Is Sleepy: (Nature Books for Kids, Environmental Science for Kids) The Amazing Life Cycle of Plants (Look and Wonder)The Amazing Life Cycle of Plants (Look and Wonder) From Seed to PlantFrom Seed to Plant Planting a RainbowPlanting a Rainbow Lola Plants a Garden (Lola Reads)Lola Plants a Garden (Lola Reads) I Can Grow a Flower (Life Cycle Board Books)I Can Grow a Flower (Life Cycle Board Books)

 

You don’t have to purchase sees specifically for planting for this experiment. We used beans sold in the grocery store for human consumption for our seeds in a bag, and they sprouted right up with any problems at all!

Before starting the experiment, soak your bean seeds overnight in water. This will sort of “wake up” the seeds and get them ready to germinate. You’ll get faster results if you pre-soak your bean seeds this way. Drain the seeds before placing them in the bag.

Dampen a paper towel and fold it into the bag.

Kids will love sprouting their own seeds in a plastic baggie! With just a few materials, kids can watch seeds sprout by germinating seeds in a bag.

Place the seeds along one side of the bag, pressing them against the paper towel. Seal the bag tightly, and hang in a window using tape.

Make sure the beans are visible on the side of the window where the kids will be observing their seeds sprout.

Wait 24 hours. You should be able to see the seeds start to pop open and sprout after this time.

Kids will love sprouting their own seeds in a plastic baggie! With just a few materials, kids can watch seeds sprout by germinating seeds in a bag.

Within 3 days to a week, you’ll have fully sprouted seeds!

Kids will love sprouting their own seeds in a plastic baggie! With just a few materials, kids can watch seeds sprout by germinating seeds in a bag.

In a few more days, you’ll see the leaves start to emerge.

Kids will love sprouting their own seeds in a plastic baggie! With just a few materials, kids can watch seeds sprout by germinating seeds in a bag.

At this point, your beans are ready to move to soil. Plant them in a rainboot garden, or another small planter and watch them continue to grow!

50+ Easy STEM activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners.

More Garden Theme Toys for Kids:

 Learning Resources New Sprouts Grow It! Toddler Gardening Set, Outdoor Toys, Pretend Play, Easter Toys, 9 Pieces, Easter Gifts for Kids, Ages 2+Learning Resources New Sprouts Grow It! Toddler Gardening Set, Outdoor Toys, Pretend Play, Easter Toys, 9 Pieces, Easter Gifts for Kids, Ages 2+ Educational Insights Plush Vegetable Garden 13-Piece Set, Easter Toy, Pretend Food, Early-Learning Skills, Ages 2+Educational Insights Plush Vegetable Garden 13-Piece Set, Easter Toy, Pretend Food, Early-Learning Skills, Ages 2+ Learning Resources Veggie Farm Sorting Set, Food Sorting Game, 46 Pieces, Ages 3+Learning Resources Veggie Farm Sorting Set, Food Sorting Game, 46 Pieces, Ages 3+ Wooden Fun Carrots Harvest ToyWooden Fun Carrots Harvest Toy EDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS Sprout & Grow WindowEDUCATIONAL INSIGHTS Sprout & Grow Window

 

Kids will love sprouting their own seeds in a plastic baggie!
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27 Comments

  1. Where can you buy pinto beans for this experiment? Can I just by some at the grocery store like a bag of Goya beans?

    1. I would suggest Googling how to transplant beans to the garden since I am very much not a gardening expert. πŸ™‚

    1. I don’t think that apple seeds would work the same, but you can always test it out. Or do two kinds of seeds and compare the results! Let us know how it goes!

  2. Hi! I’m wondering what type of soil to put them in after they sprout? We did this experiment and they’re sprouting super quick! & should I continue to leave them in the window? πŸ™‚

    1. I honestly have never tried to plant them after this experiment. You could try putting them in a pot and see what happens!

  3. Yes, pinto beans. Kidney bean did not sprout at all, lima bean maybe will sprout, but pinto bean ready to plant (I think).

  4. Doing this experiment during remote learning with my 4th grade students. Some are reporting ‘smelly beans’. Is this normal? Honestly, sometimes life is smelly!

    1. I’m imagining that they are opening their ziploc bag…lol! We have had our newest attempt at this experiment hanging from our dishwasher for a month and I can’t smell anything, but the original seeds look mushy in the bag, so they probably would smell if we opened the bag.

    1. The towel should stay damp inside your bag. We’ve been doing it again and have had the towel in the bag for 7 days and I can visible see water droplets from across the room. πŸ™‚

  5. Just curious, because I’m sure my child will want to keep his beans alive, does anyone know how to properly transfer these to soil after?

    1. In this activity we have only grown the beans in the bag and thrown them away afterward. You could try to separate them and continue to grow them in small pots. In which case, you would want to bury the bean and roots and let the sprout stay above the dirt. Let us know how it goes!

  6. What about pepper seeds? We put those in a bag with a wet paper towel seven days ago with no luck.

      1. My son’s class used mason jars instead of baggies, but his pepper seeds have successfully sprouted. It probably took close to a week before we saw activity. We are hoping to transfer them to soil and see if they survive Mommy’s black thumb. πŸ˜‰

    1. The peppers may take longer to grow. We planted some strawberry seeds on Earth Day and it just started to grow.

  7. Also, I only put 3 or 4 dried beans in the bag. (Too many make it complicated to follow each root, etc.) Most pinto beans will germinate, and you do NOT need to soak them over night! They will germinate in 2 to 3 days. Be sure to warn your children not to press or squish the soft beans (seeds), because they will become very fragile as they start to germinate and sprout. This is one of my all-time favorite activities! We all get super excited to see the “magic” of life!!

    1. I have not tried it, but any fresh beans should work. I cannot vouch for the quality of the experiment with dried beans.