There is a entry way in my house that is covered in small lines documenting the growth of my children. My kids love going back to it month after month to see how much they’ve grown. It’s important to teach our kids that growth is a part of all living things, not just humans.

Growing seeds in a plastic bag is a fun way for kids to see how seeds grow. Really? Seed germination in a paper towel? The best part of this STEM activity is showing that these seeds don’t need soil or a hole in the ground to grow. Your little gardeners can watch how seeds sprout with a clear view from the plastic bag. There is a lot to learn in this experiment, yet it is so simple to do!

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.

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for Germinating Seeds in a Bag:

  • Plastic Zip Top Bag
  • Bean Seeds
  • Paper Towel
  • Tape

Learning About Seeds And Growth:

bean germination experiment


  • What does our seed need to grow?
  • What do you think would happen if we put the bag in a room with no light?
  • How are our bodies similar to the seeds?
  • What do the roots of the plant do?
  • How long does it take for beans to germinate?
  • How fast or slow did your beans grow (germination rate)?

This experiment is a great way to show kids how flowers and some of our fruits and vegetables can grow.

No messy soil or holes need to be dug. No flower pots spilling on the floor. Your kiddos hands will stay clean (relatively anyway) and the growing can take place inside a classroom or even a kitchen.

The seed in a bag activity can be used during a unit on plants or introducing lifecycles.

In addition to learning about growth here are some more ideas for what you can teach about using the germinating seeds in a paper towel experiment:

  • Observing similarities and differences
  • Predicting what might happen
  • Identifying uses of a plant
  • Documenting (drawing or writing) growth

Why Is It Important For Kids To Conduct Experiments?

Besides the fact that kids love exploring, there are so many other reasons you should do experiments with your child.

Observational Skills

Conducting experiments with your kids help them to become more observant about the world around them. It also encourages higher order thinking and asking questions. Have your child tell you about their germinated bean seed.

Increases Vocabulary

By observing and taking note of changes, children will build upon their vocabulary to note colors, sizes, shapes, textures and smells. Ask your students to explain how to plant a germinated bean.

Problem Solving

Problem solving is a task that children will use everyday. In experiments, students problem solve by brainstorming and trying different things.
Why did my plant not grow? Maybe I added too much water. Let’s try again!

Understand the Life Cycle

Starting as seeds and ending with bean plants shows the process the beans in a bag go through. From dry beans to green beans, children can see where some of our food comes from.

“They loved this more than Play doh. I was amazed. “

I did this today with my daycare kids. They loved this more than Play doh. I was amazed. With it being too cold to go outside, this was great.

Honestly they played for 1.5 hours and probably would of longer, but we had to get lunch ready. Thank you so much for this.

How To Create The Germination Seed Bag

How To Grow Seeds In A Plastic Bag In Preschool

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Within 3 days to a week, you’ll have fully sprouted seeds! In a few more days, you’ll see the leaves start to emerge.
  • 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!
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.
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.
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.

Sequencing Cards

Take pictures of your child’s bean through each stage of growth. Print and laminate the pictures and have your child put them in the correct growth sequence.

Create a Book

Use pictures taken from the beans growth to create a book. Let your child decide if the story will be fictional or nonfiction.

Seed Names

Take the remainder of the beans and use them for a name activity. Have your child glue the beans onto each letter of their written name.

Sensory Bin

Use different types of beans and seeds in your sensory bin. You can include shovels, plastic pots, fake flowers and pretend vegetables.

Counting Skills

Work on counting skills with these fun sunflower themed counting mats.

Play a Game

Continue learning about lifecycles and seeds with our free activities with seeds!

More from our Shop

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

50+ Easy STEM activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Kids will love sprouting their own seeds in a plastic baggie!
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