As old as I am, which I will not divulge, there is still something magical about planting a seed and seeing it come to fruition. Growing a beanstalk with kids is the perfect way to share some of that magic. This simple beanstalk project pairs beautifully with the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, making it a lesson in not only reading but science too.
Materials to Grow a Kid’s Beanstalk
The beauty of growing a beanstalk with kids is twofold. Of course, they get to live inside Jack’s world as the story unfolds and they also get to grow their own magic beanstalk.
Beans are a perfect choice for an elementary growing project with kids. They are simple to grow and, while they don’t grow overnight, they grow at a rapid pace - perfect for a child’s wandering attention span.
What you need for a beanstalk project includes bean seeds of course, any variety of beans will do. A pot or container, or even a repurposed glass or Mason jar will work. You’ll need some cotton balls too and a spray bottle.
When the vine gets larger, you will also need potting soil, a saucer if using a container with drainage holes, stakes, and gardening ties or twine. Other fantastical elements can be included such as a miniature Jack doll, a Giant, or any other element found in the children’s tale.
How to Grow a Magic Beanstalk
The simplest way to start growing a beanstalk with kids is to start with a glass jar or other container and some cotton balls. Run the cotton balls under water until they are wet but not sodden. Place the wet cotton balls in the bottom of the jar or container. These are going to act as “magic” soil.
Place the bean seeds between the cotton balls at the side of the glass so they can be easily viewed. Be sure to use 2-3 seeds just in case one doesn’t germinate. Keep the cotton balls moist by misting them with a spray bottle.
Once the bean plant has reached the top of the jar, it is time to transplant it. Gently remove the bean plant from the jar. Transplant it into a container that has drainage holes. (If you started out with a container like this, you can skip this part.) Add a trellis or use stakes and lightly tie the end of the vine to them using plant ties or twine.
Keep the beanstalk project consistently moist and watch it reach for the clouds!
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Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.
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