Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Classroom Gardening: Beany Babies

This project is an alternative to being "parents" to a raw egg or a sack of flour -- something that most kids end up doing at some point during their school careers.  It has the added benefit of being really, truly, ALIVE and GROWING.

Supplies needed:
Small jewelry bag
hole punch
Supermost granuals or other soil moisture medium.
Bean seed
Warm body

1) Punch a hole in the bag through both layers above the seal line at the top.
2) Fill the bag with a half teaspoon of granules.
3) Add a couple of teaspoons of water, seal and knead the bag until the water is absorbed.
4) Open the bag, place the bean seed inside and manipulate until the seed is in the approximate center of the bag, surrounded by granules. Re-seal the bag.
5) Thread the yard through the hole at the top of the bag.
6) Wear under your shirt, close to your body.  Keep in darkness as much as possible.
7) In a couple of days, your "baby" will sprout!

What will you name your baby??

I took a class in "Winter Gardening in the Classroom" recently led by the outstanding Master Gardener volunteers at Rockland County Cornell Cooperative Extension.  Hope to share more of what I learned in time!


AshKuku said...

May be I would like to call them BODY BEANS as they would receive the warmth of my body..... Hmmmmm.... I kinda like it..... HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!


patti lacy said...

This is SOOOO COOL! And can you believe I just posted on growing sprouts today?

Check it out at

Talon said...

That is adorable! And I like AshKuku's suggestion of calling them "body beans" :)

tina said...

AshKuku has an excellent idea to call it Body Beans. Neat!

LazyMom said...

I am not exactly sure why--by I am mildly unsettled by the idea of a plant glowing on my body. I guess I have not reached that Nyack crunchiness level yet.

Joanne said...

I'd imagine the kids would really get into this project. I'd name one Jack ... of Jack and the Beanstalk fame.

tut-tut said...

Interesting way to link us to vegetables/growing things. Looking forward to reading more about what you learned.

Kiki said...

That's so cool! Yay! how fun! Thanks for sharing this gem!

Karen said...

That is way cool. Although in my house, I would worry that it would be too tempting to unpack the bag, get the granules out, squish them around, etc. Any suggested age range for this project? Or I guess it just depends on maturity level. :) Do they wear it to bed too?

Ronda Laveen said...

What a great project! I really want to try this one!

Pam J. said...

I'm so glad that LazyMom said it first...I also find this mildly unsettling. First, I'm not familiar with Supermost granules and they sound a little other-worldly. And in a very very (very) small way the beany baby project reminds me of the movie "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." (The remake with Donald Sutherland, which was much scarier than the original from the 50s.) In the movie each person has his or her very own pod. It grows slowly and silently in a warm place. And then one day... it becomes you!

But. If I were 10 or 11 I'm sure I would think this was a fun project so keep on keeping on!

JGH said...

That's pretty funny --- Invasion of the Body Beans! Yeah, this is a project for the older ones - I'd say 4th or 5th grade who can hopefully resist playing with the granules. They're supposed to be nontoxic, but eating is defintely discouraged and if you want to plant beans for eating, might be a good idea to do it separately in organic soil!

I think it would be fun to do experiments. Leave one out untended by the window. Put on in the closet. Keep one in the shirt in the dark near the body. Plant anothe bean in dirt. See which one grows best/fastest?

tut-tut said...

My seeds came! Rene's Garden and Looking forward to quite a variety this year. yea, home gardeners!

Carol said...

Now that is a unique way to bond and connect with your plants! Terrific! ;>)

beth - total mom haircut said...

Oh, what a great activity! I hope you do share more about what you learned from the workshop.

A blog friend of mine (Mayberry) sent me over here when I mentioned I'm going to be doing some vegetable gardening with my son's pre-school this spring. this activity makes me wonder if I could start any case, so happy to have found your blog. I've been clicking around quite a bit:)