Observing Seed Germination in a Plastic Bag

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle is this week’s featured book for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. We are observing seed germination in a plastic bag to go along with the book. Be sure to see all of the garden themed activities at the end of the post. Affiliate links are included in this post.

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

Observing Seed Germination in a Plastic Bag

Planting seeds and watching them grow is a wonderful activity for kids. There are lots of opportunities for experimentation while learning about how plants grow. The first step in plant growth is seed germination. You plant a seed and under the right conditions, the seed will begin to grow, or germinate. If you plant a seed in soil, it is difficult to see the germination process. However, if you plant the seed in a clear container in a wet paper towel, seed germination is much easier to observe. With this method for seed germination in a plastic bag, it is easy to germinate many seeds at one time in a small amount of space. This is perfect for using in the classroom setting. It’s also a great technique to use if you want to get lots of plants started growing before you actually plant them in the ground.

Supplies Needed

  • Plastic storage bags (gallon size or quart size)
  • Paper towels
  • Ruler
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
  • Paper clips or binder clips
  • Water
  • Seeds
  • Hanging file folders
  • File folder storage box or milk crate

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

Cut your paper towel to the same size as the plastic storage bag. Cut a 1 inch wide strip of paper towel. Staple the paper towel strip to the top of the paper towel. Staple a V onto the strip of the paper towel to create a pocket for each seed. We created 3 pockets on each paper towel.

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

Place the paper towel into the plastic storage bag. The paper towel strip should be at the top of the plastic bag.

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

Add a seed to each V pocket. Pour a little water into the plastic bag to wet the paper towel. This will help paper towel stick to the plastic bag and keep the seeds at the top. Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the plastic bag. Squeeze out any excess air.

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

Below Lily is holding up her finished bag.

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

Attach paper clips or binder clips to the top of the plastic bag and secure the plastic bag to a hanging file folder.

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

Place the hanging file folder inside a file folder storage box or milk crate. You can fit an entire classroom set of seeds in one box – each student gets his/her own hanging file folder and plastic storage bag.

How to grow seeds in a plastic bag - easy seed germination for the classroom or home

My 7 year old was able to follow the directions and make his seed germination bag on his own. My almost 3 year old needed help with each step. It was a great project to do as a family. My husband does this seed germination activity with his high school botany students. He originally learned this method at a teaching conference from the University of Missouri.

Watch a video tutorial of the seed germination bags below:

Check out our Plant Science Experiment inspired by Peter Rabbit. We wanted to find out which plant would grow the best.

Which plant will grow the best? Try this plant science experiment inspired by The Tale of Peter Rabbit

More Activities from the Virtual Book Club for Kids

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See more garden activities inspired by The Tiny Seed:

Alphabet Puzzle Cards – Sea of Knowledge
Flower Garden Name Puzzle – Still Playing School
Number Activities with Printable Flowers and Worms – JDaniel4’s Mom
The Seeds We Eat- Teach Beside Me
A Fun Way for Kids to Plan a Garden – Sunny Day Family
Seed & Plant Matching Game & {FREE} Cards – Preschool Powol Packets
Plant Biology for Kids – Mama Smiles
Rainbow Spin Art Flower Craft – Messy Little Monster
Garden Pretend Play and Fine Motor Activity – Views From a Step Stool
Build a Flower Creative Invitation from My Storytime Corner
Colorful Ribbon Flower Craft for Kids – Toddler Approved
Garden Flower Ten Frame – Rainy Day Mum

Also stop by the Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook page to see what others are sharing!

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