It’s really simple. We took glass containers, pea and runner bean seeds, and kitchen towel. The Little Explorers ripped up the kitchen towel and stuffed it in the glasses and jars. We poured water onto the paper so that it was fully moist but not dripping wet. The children then sprinkled a handful of seeds in each vessel, making sure a few were stuck up against the side of the glass for easy viewing. One Little Explorer was particularly taken with the fact that the pea seeds look just like … peas!
We asked this week’s Little Explorers (ages ranging from 2-5 years old) what they needed to grow. Their answers ranged from cuddles, baked beans, ice cream, milk, a cosy bed and bubble baths! We narrowed it down to food, drink, somewhere to live and someone to love us. We then talked about what animals and pets need, and discovered that their needs were the same. Finally, we talked about what seeds might need to grow, and the Little Explorers were pleased to learn that seeds also need the same things – food, water, earth, and someone to look after them! I added in the extra element – that plants also need light!
Over the week we took photos of the seeds as they started to sprout and the oldest, Expert Explorer, drew a picture of the seed with its root pushing its way out. We’re also starting our longer term gardening projects for the year this week. Now’s the time to think about planting potatoes. They can easily be grown in containers on the patio if you don’t have much space outdoors. This week we bought seed potatoes from the garden centre and ‘chitted’ them. It simply means putting the potatoes out in old egg boxes to sprout. We lined them up with any sprouts facing upwards and have left them to grow in a cool, light place. Once any risk of frost has passed, we’ll be planting them outside in deep containers filled with warm earth. We can’t wait to taste them later on in the year! Are you planting anything this month?
Expert Explorers: Did you know plants are made up of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit and seeds? The whole life cyle of the plant is contained within itself. Roots suck up moisture and minerals from the soil and anchor the plant in place. Stems support the plant and contain the tubes which move water around it. Most plants make food in their leaves which capture sunlight and convert it into energy via photosynthesis. Flowers are the reproductive part of most plants, containing pollen and ovules. After pollination of the flower and fertilization of the ovule, the ovule turns into a fruit. Fruit provides a soft or hard covering for the new seeds. And the seeds inside contain new plants! And so it goes on!
11/03/16: Update! One week on and our seeds are going strong! Share your seeds' progress with us too on Facebook if you like!