When you are 6 years old it’s hard to see into the future. Growing a big garden the first time can be discouraging when it takes such a long time to grow and taste the fruit of your labors. That’s why a mini garden is the perfect solution for young children. After just a couple weeks they’re able to see and taste the benefit of their work!
To add a little whimsy to our garden we pretended it was a forest and added some animals to it. It was also a little experiment to see if we could get a seed to sprout on an animal. Encourage other scientific hypotheses by asking your children questions about how long they think it will take for the seeds to start sprouting.
Edible Mini Garden Supplies
For our mini garden we used mustard seeds. Other seeds that do well for sprouts are watercress, radish, pea, chick pea, mung beans, alfalfa, fenugreek, sunflower, lentil, and broccoli. You can buy many of these seeds or dried lentils at the bulk food store. Then we used a pie dish for our container and a paper towel to keep the seeds moist. You can use anything you have around the house, but if your seeds are larger you will want to use more paper towels, cotton or something thicker to keep those seeds moist.
After Audrey placed the animals the way she wanted them, she poured the seeds all around the dish. Then she soaked the paper towel with water and put the dish in a sunny window.
Each day she checked to make sure the paper towel was moist and added water as needed. We didn’t want to drowned the seeds, but just keep them moist.
We were amazed that after just one day you could see the seeds starting to sprout! God’s creation really is amazing. The sprouts were ready to try after only 11 days. This would make a great science experiment for the children to draw their observations and note what is happening to the little seed.
The result of our experiment on growing seeds on the animals was unsuccessful. I asked Audrey why she thought it didn’t work and she knew right away that the seeds weren’t staying moist on the plastic surface. They needed to be touching something wet so they could absorb the water.
We accidentally forgot about our sprouts one day and they dried out a little, but after giving them water they perked back up. I’m sure if you remember to water them diligently they would be ready even sooner. They only need to be 1-2 inches long and have a couple leaves on them.
I added the sprouts to our sandwiches that day to give them a little crunch. The kids really liked them! Have you ever grown your own sprouts?