The story of Jack and the Beanstalk quickly became a favorite here after we read it the first time. In fact, I think we’ve read it a good 30 to 40 times since then 🙂
So, since the preschooler was enjoying it so much, we decided to expand it a little more, beyond just reading the story, and see what fun activities we could come up with to go along with the book.
Of course, to start us off, we had to grow a beanstalk of our very own!
This was such a fun, hands-on science activity and, while it does take a bit of time, it is so worth it!
Kids just love watching it grow and change everyday and it can spark some fantastic conversations. We spent days talking about plant life and what all plants need to grow, we made guesses on how long it would take to grow and how big it would be when it was done growing.
Overall, it was quite an educational experience all around and really, it’s not as difficult as you may think!
We started off by breaking out our fairy tale book again and taking another look at the beanstalk in the story and drew a few pictures of what we thought our beanstalk would look like.
Then, we set to work!
To grow one of your own, you’ll need:
- A small Ziploc bag
- Paper towel or paper napkins
- A bean or two
- Permanent marker (only if you want to write the date on your bag)
Before you add any water, place your napkin (or a cut paper towel) into your plastic bag. You could add the water first but we found that that really makes getting your napkin into the bag a lot more difficult 🙂
Once your napkin is in, add your bean and pour in some water. You don’t want so much water that it starts filling your bag, just enough to saturate your napkin.
You can date your bag if you’d like or just leave it as is but you’ll want to make sure that you zip the bag closed and tape it up in a window that receives a decent amount of sun throughout the day.
As the sun warms your bag, you start to notice condensation forming on the inside. That condensation will get soaked right back up by your napkin so you shouldn’t need to really add any more water after the initial time.
Now just sit back and watch your beanstalk grow!
Once your beanstalk has reached a decent size, you can use it to talk about the different parts of the plant such as the stem, leaves, and roots as well as add in a little math by measuring your plant as it grows. Introduce the concept of recording data by drawing a picture of your beanstalk and noting the changes each day.
However you do it, your preschooler is going to love watching their beanstalk grow!