Are you looking for fun classroom science projects or maybe you want to entertain your children during those long summer days? Young children (and older kids) always enjoy growing seeds, but it can seem like a very time-consuming process. But, many fast-growing plants make science experiments much easier! Here are a bunch of suggestions to help your young scientist learn about the scientific method and maybe even grow an edible plant!
Fastest Growing Plants
The science fair project you have been putting off is due within the next few days! You decide to experiment using seeds and quickly run to the store to find and buy the best seeds for the experiment. But what type of plant or type of seed will grow in time?
Here are some of the fast germinating seeds:
- sunflower seeds
- bean seeds
- grass seed
- sweet alyssum
- radish seeds
- pinto beans
- vegetable seeds
- morning glories
- green beans
- pumpkin seeds
- lettuce seeds
- lima beans
These seeds show quick growth and are the best choice if you want to create a beautiful gift or project!
Reasons Seeds Won’t Germinate
Before starting any experiment mentioned below, it is best to know why your seeds are not growing, even if you purchased or planted some of them.
- You used old seeds.
- You didn’t use new cups or containers for your experiment.
- The temperature was too hot or too cold.
- Seeds are not getting enough oxygen (seed coat/outer coat needs to break to receive oxygen)
These are just a few reasons your fast germinating seeds may not be growing.
There are so many seed projects in the world, and many experiments can be done very quickly and easily. Here are some great ways to use seeds for science.
Before planting the seeds, younger kids cans explore the seeds. They can notice different colors, sizes, shapes, and more. Looking at different seeds will help with their observation skills. Have them answer questions like “Do larger seeds grow larger plants?”
Plastic Bag Sprouts
One way to explore the seed and plant parts after it sprouts is the seed in a bag experiment. All you need is a Ziploc bag, wet paper towel, and seed of your choice. Put the wet paper towel into the plastic bag. Then put it on the side of the paper towel. You will be able to see up close and personal the seed sprouting and all the different parts of the plant.
If you decide to set this experiment up with different seed types, observe how long it takes the outer coat or seed coat to pop off and a sprout to grow. It is a great way to see germination and how long each seed takes to germinate or grow.
After deciding which seeds to plant, a great idea is to try different types of soil and see which one helps the seed grow the quickest. Make sure to give each seed the same amount of water daily and observe the germination process. Do not use different seeds in the plastic cups.
Some specific types of soil you may use are:
- Potting soil
- Citrus and cactus soil
- Fruit and vegetable soil
Let the seeds grow for a bit and see if they start to look different depending on their soil type. Did some grow larger? Did some flower faster? Etc.
Seeds need different things to grow, and you can easily test the amount of water necessary for the fastest-growing seeds to grow. There are other ways to test seeds and how much water they need. You may change the amount of water you give each seed, or maybe you give warm water, hot water, and cold water to different fast-sprouting seeds and see which one grows fastest or if it even matters.
You could even use different liquids to see if the seeds will sprout—soda, apple juice, coffee, etc.
This experiment involves some fast growing seeds, a black plastic bag, a sunny window, water, and paper or plastic cups.
Plant seeds in some cups and put one or more cups into a black plastic bag. Plant more seeds and put those in the sunny window. You could also use a grow light if you do not have a sunny window. See what happens as the plants grow. You’ll see a big difference between the plant grown in the right conditions and the plant grown in the black plastic bag. You’ll quickly see how seeds make their own food and not just use the soil, sun, and water to grow!
With this experiment, you’ll still see plant growth, whether the plants are in the black plastic bag or just in the window. But the growth will look very different! Wheat or grass seeds work best for this experiment!
Hours of Light
Another way to experiment with fast sprouting seeds is to change the hours of light the seeds receive. An example is giving some seeds 5 hours of natural light while only giving other seeds 2 hours of natural light. You can determine the number of hours that work best for you when you start the experiment. Putting the seeds into a closet is a great way to remove natural light. Don’t just move them away from the window a little; you want them in complete darkness when not in the sun.
Slowest Seeds vs. Fastest Seeds
Grab some of the fastest seeds, and see which grow the fastest and slowest when given the proper care. You will also test which seeds have the quickest growth. Grab little rulers and put them into the soil. This way, you can keep track of measurements as the seeds grow taller!
There are just a couple of the best ideas for easy seed experiments or activities. When figuring out which experiment to do, always consider what resources and supplies you have at home! Seed experiments are simple and fun to do whether you have a science fair in a few days or are looking for some fun during the summer!