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Greenhouse in a Jar

Germinate seeds in your home!

Recommended for: Grades K–12+
Estimated time: 15 minutes

This activity will give your student an inside look at seed growth; a process which usually happens underground.

Materials Needed

  • Large clear jar with lid
  • Paper towels
  • Seeds
  • Notebook or paper
  • Pencil or pen

Optional Materials

  • Magnifying glass
  • Spray bottle

Helpful Information

  • Use seeds with a low germination time to keep this activity feeling new and exciting! Examples include morning glories, garden beans, and lettuce species.
  • Keep your journal next to your jar so it’s easy to jot down observations on a daily basis.

Activity Steps

Step One:

Before making your Greenhouse in a Jar, look closely at your seeds. Make observations together including size and color, and the number of each type of seed.

Journal: Draw the seeds and record your observations. Label this page with the the date and “Day 1” of growth.

Step Two:

Place a few paper towels in your jar and lightly wet them. Then, place the seeds between the damp paper towels and the outside of the jar so they are visible. Cover your jar with the lid to keep moisture inside.

Step Three:

Ask your student to find a spot in your home where the seeds will have enough sunlight to grow and place your Greenhouse in a Jar in that location.

Step Four:

Check on your seeds regularly for signs of growth and to make sure that the paper towels are still damp.

Journal: Add an entry for every day you observe. Label each entry with the date.

Upcycle Seeds

For sustainability bonus points, use seeds from produce at home such as tomatoes or strawberries, or from dry goods such as chia seeds and dry beans. For best results, first soak these seeds for 12–24 hours.

For Further Discovery…

Once your seeds have sprouted, you can plant them in a pot or garden. Continue to observe their growth and make entries in your journal!