How do seeds grow? Kids who have a garden want to plant, see results and then perhaps understand it later. But it is important to understand seed life cycle to learn just how things work in a garden. This understanding leads to continuity and success of the kids' future gardens.
Teaching kids about seeds
Seeds are the basis of plants. That's how they come into this world. Without seeds, there would be no plants for the kids' garden. So it is important to teach kids that seeds are filled with food, instructions and everything that a little growing seedling needs to start out life.
Watching a seed grow can be fascinating, even for adults. From the seed a root grows and takes hold, then a small plant emerges. This small plant becomes a larger plant.
One way to teach your kids about seeds is to perform a few seed experiments. You don't need anything fancy. You don't really need anything other than water and a paper towel for the seeds. Here are a couple of seed experiments you can try to show how seeds grow.
Seed Sprouting: Get a paper towel and wet it completely, wringing out any excess water. Wrap up a couple of seeds in the wet paper towel and place it in a sandwich bag. Check it everyday to make sure the paper towel stays wet. In a few days (for most seeds), the seeds should start to sprout the first root or primary root. This is an easy experiment for younger kids to do.
Make a Root Box: A root box is a box with a window to allow the kids to observe the root and plant as it grows. It can be as simple as a plastic container or as elaborate as a wooden box. No matter which container is used, the root box is a wonderful teaching tool.
Light, food and water
The basic things a seed needs are light, food and water. Light is supplied by the sun or an artificial lighting system. Light provides the plant energy to perform photosynthesis, the process that the plant uses to make its own food.
The seeds have a built-in food supply. The inside of a seed is the food supply once the seed has germinated, or sprouted. Once the plant reaches a certain age, it will start to take in nutrients from the soil through its roots to help with photosynthesis.
Water is essential to all living creatures. Plants are no exception. They get water through the roots and through tubes, often called veins, in the stems and leaves. They get the water from the soil surrounding the plants. When the area their roots are in becomes dry, some plants will grow roots out to find a new source of water.
A seed has all the things the growing plant needs. It has a covering, a protective outer layer that helps keep it from damage, and a good supply of food for the newly sprouted plant. A seed is a little package of survival.
When you soak seeds, you allow water to fully penetrate the hull of the seed, nourishing the germ that will bloom into a plant. Seeds will get food from the nutrients in the soil surrounding them once they are planted, but to flourish they need plenty of water.
There is a concept in coaching called seed planting. It means that it takes time for new ideas and suggestions to be embraced. There are clients that take hold of a new idea and run with it, some take a little more time to allow the idea to grow while others can take years before the idea sprouts.