Are you looking for easy homeschool gardening activities to try with your children? One of the easiest ways to get kids of all ages excited about getting outside into the garden is to show them how simple it is to sprout seeds, also known as germinating.
Germinating seeds involves getting seeds to sprout before you plant them. It can help you save money, get a head-start on gardening season, and teach your children an important life skill – growing their own food.
Use this hands-on homeschool gardening activity as an introductory lesson to teaching homesteading in your homeschool. It’s suitable for children ages three and up.
Old Seeds, New Seeds, Fruit and Vegetable Seeds
This easy seed germinating activity works with all sorts of seeds. We’ve used it to test seed packets with an expiry date that’s long past. This saved us the time and effort of planting them in the soil to find they wouldn’t grow. (Tip: give the seeds about a week to germinate. If they don’t, toss them out.)
It’s also a good activity when you’re ready to get a jump start on your vegetable garden by starting seeds indoors.
And it might even work with seeds from the fruits and vegetables you bought from the supermarket last week. We’ve had luck using this method to germinate seeds from:
- cucumbers (these sprouted in 48 hours!)
- green, red, and yellow peppers
We’ve even used this method to germinate seeds we gathered during our homeschool foraging lessons. Now not all of these germinated seeds grew into fruit-or-vegetable bearing plants. But it did get my kids excited about learning some basic homeschool gardening lessons.
Beyond the Basic Homeschool Gardening Lesson
You can also use this seed germination activity as more than a simple gardening lesson for kids. Depending on their ages, expand the lesson by adding activities such as reading about gardening, calendar lessons (how many days until germination), and math graphing skills (which seeds sprouted first?)
Continue your preschool homeschool garden lesson with a sensory science activity and read aloud.
Seed Germination Supplies
You’ll find everything you’ll need to germinate seeds right in your kitchen. Gather the following:
- seed packets or dried seeds from your fruit and veggies
- spray bottle with warm water
- sandwich bags
- paper towels
- Sharpie marker
How to Germinate Seeds at Home
Although there are many seed germination methods, I found this one the easiest.
- Label sandwich bags with the type of seeds you’re testing.
- Lay paper towel on a flat surface (kitchen counters work well), and spray it with water to dampen it.
- Place five to ten seeds of the same type on the towel, then fold it over and spray again.
- Carefully place the damp paper towel and seeds into the sandwich bag and seal.
- Repeat with all seeds.
- Place bags on a tray in a warm place where they’ll get at least a few hours of daylight.
- Check the bags daily to make sure the paper towels stay damp. DO NOT OVERWATER.
- After one week, discard any seeds that haven’t sprouted.
- Move sprouted seeds to small containers with potting soil to start seedlings (we use egg cartons).
And that’s it!
Looking for more ways to introduce homesteading to your homeschool?
Head over to Off Grid Life for your great big list of Free Homesteading Printables & Downloads for Kids!
Sarita Harbour is a busy mom/step-mom, and grandmother blessed with seven kids ranging from age 32 down to seven. She lives off the grid with her family in a lakefront chalet in the beautiful wilderness of Canada’s far north. She spends her days teaching, writing, and learning the ropes of homesteading off the grid. Visit her site, Off Grid Life, for free printables and resources on homesteading, homeschooling, and self-reliance for the whole family.