Plant a Seed Home Study

This season, we welcome your family to participate in our "Plant a Tiny Seed" home study. This is designed to do together with children as involved as possible. We hope you enjoy this chance to observe the marvel of sprouting seeds! Here’s how to start:

Part 1: Prepare

  1. Watch a pro! Click here to watch Tinkergarten explorer, Meadow, who so generously recorded her planting process to share with friends around the country. Kids will likely love learning from a peer, and we are so glad that Meadow was thrilled to share!
  2. Gather materials: Peat pot (or other small pot with holes); Loose dirt (from the yard, garden or potting soil); pack of seeds.
  3. Optional materials: You may also want to find one or two other containers with holes on the bottom to serve as "pots", if you would like to welcome children to plant seeds on their own.
    1. Seeds are tiny, and small hands often plant lots of them in the same small pot. There is still plenty to be learned from planting many seeds together, they just won't all thrive through to flower in the same pot. So, it's great to plant just a few seeds in at least one of the pots.
  4. Prep soil: In a large bucket or bin, add some water to the soil. Add compostable items like dried leaves and grass, too. If eggs are safe for you and your child, you can enjoy the sensory experience of crushing up and blending egg shells into the soil.
  5. Prep yourself: This whole process is not about producing perfect flowers or proving that we have green thumbs. It's about wondering, trying and learning from whatever happens. Whatever comes of these little seeds is the start of a lifetime of loving and learning about plants!

Part 2: Plant the seeds!

  1. Add soil to pots: Fill each pot with loose potting soil or soil from your yard/garden.
  2. Explore the seeds: Put the seeds into your hands or onto a light colored surface piece of paper. If you have a magnifying glass, use it to help you observe them. How do they look? feel? If you have a variety, wonder: How are they similar? How are they different? What do you think they will each become?
    1. Note: Unless you are working with the seeds of edible plants and you know that the seeds are safe to eat, make sure that children know not to eat the seeds. It's wise to teach children to be mindful of this whenever planting.
  3. Plant seeds: Work together to gently press a few seeds into the surface of soil in one pot. Repeat with other "pots" if you have them, feeling free to welcome kids to work on their own—just know you may have lots of seeds planted in one pot, if you do. As long as you have your one peat pot with just a few, you'll have a pot that does not have too many seedlings to survive.
  4. Top them off: Add a very light layer of soil on top, then mist or gently pour drops of water to dampen soil. Young children love using spray bottles, and spray bottles are helpful at keeping all of us from overwatering the seeds.

Part 3: Care for the seeds and learn as they grow

  1. Take care of them:Keep soil moist and give your seeds loads of love every day. Pick a time to look at the pots each day, ideally as part of your routine. What do you notice each day?
  2. Observe: Seeds should germinate within 7 to 10 days, then continue to grow if given steady light and water, so continue to observe and share what you see with your classmates and Leader.
  3. Bring in some empathy: Enjoy learning as you care for your growing plants! Wonder about how they are feeling each time you check in on them.
  4. Transplant when ready: Once plants have their very first set of simple leaves (aka cotyledons) and another set of leaves (aka true leaves), you can plant the peat pot right into the ground or into a bigger pot so the seedling(s) can continue to thrive.
  5. Share! Share photos of growing plants with us using #Tinkergarten and #PlantASeed.