Plastic Bag Greenhouses
More fun than simply planting seeds in the dirt, using a ziplock bag as a greenhouse is a mess free, quick to assemble activity that uses things you most likely have in your house already, and allows for kids to see every step of the early germination process that usually happens underneath the soil.
Construction Paper & Scissors (optional)
* Beans are notorious for being the best in these experiments - you can get a bag of dry beans at the grocery store - they grow at a pretty fast rate, are large enough to really see each step, and are pretty hearty plants; but feel free to get creative with your seed choices.
For us, we had lemon seeds from an earlier activity, as well as sunflower, green bean, and carrot seeds laying around ready to be planted for a spring garden. Curious to see the difference in them as they grow, the boys chose to put a few of each into their greenhouses.
Creating your Plastic Bag Greenhouse
Step 1 - Fold your paper towel so that it will fit inside your ziplock bag, and saturate it with water. (Theres no exact measurement for this, just make sure the towel is thoroughly wet.)
Step 2 - Place your seeds onto the towel, flatten the ziplock pressing most of the air out of it, and close the bag.
Step 3 - If you'd like to take it a step further, (and add some fine motor skill scissor work to the activity,) trace around the outside of the ziplock onto construction paper, drawing a house. Have your child cut out the house as well as a 'window' to see the seeds growing. (Only my oldest cut out the window for his, for the other two I cut theirs)
Step 4 - Hang your greenhouse in a window or place it somewhere that it will get some light. Over the next few days you will see your seeds begin the germination process. Within about 2 weeks you will see that decent sized seedlings have grown from your seeds, once they've reached this point you will be able to transplant them roots down into dirt. (If during the two weeks you notice your paper towel has dried out, you can feel free to add some water to it)
If you and your little decide to make a Plastic Bag Greenhouse this Spring, please share what seeds you decide to go with, and what luck you have in growing them! I will update in a couple of weeks with how our different seed types did.