How to Germinate Lima Bean Seeds for Kids: 7 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Growing lima beans might encourage him to eat some.

While your preschooler isn't exactly ready for quantum physics, she can start on her road to scientific exploration through a simple experiment. Little learners are ready to understand the basics of the life sciences such as how plants grow and their need for water and sunlight. If you are trying to think up a fun-filled science activity for your child that isn't overly involved or above her learning level, try germinating lima bean seeds. Although your preschooler may scoff at the idea of actually eating lima beans with her dinner, she will get a kick out growing them.


  1. 1
    Discuss the seed germination process and plant life cycle with your child. While it may seem fairly obvious to you that plants need water and sunlight to grow, your little learner might not realize this yet. Explain to her that plants start as seeds and, with nutrients from the water and the sun, they sprout and grow.
  2. 2
    Show the lima bean seeds to your child. While she might think of these beans as just the food that she eats -- or more than likely, refuses to eat -- help her to see that lima beans are part of the plant world and not born in the frozen food section of the grocery store.
  3. 3
    Soak dried lima beans in a bowl of water over night. This can help to quicken the growing process.
  4. 4
    Dip five or six cotton balls in water. Avoid getting them overly wet, making sure they aren't soaked or dripping.
  5. 5
    Line the bottom of a clear plastic bag with the wet cotton balls. Place three or four lima bean seeds into the bag, pressing them into the wet cotton.
  6. 6
    Seal the bag at the top. Prop the bag up against a sunny window.
  7. 7
    Check back in with the bags regularly -- at least daily -- to watch the seeds germinate. Have your child keep track of the seeds as they sprout and grow into mini plants.


  • Help your child to better understand the scientific process. As she observes the plant growing, have her make a journal to document what she is seeing. She can draw a new picture every day to show the plant's life cycle.Break out a ruler and measure the plant as it grows. This will add a math layer to your already stellar science lesson.When the plants get to be too big for the bag, transfer them to a small soil-filled planter.


  • Always supervise your child during the experiment as well as when she is making observations. Don't allow her to put the dried beans or cotton in or near her mouth.

Things You'll Need

  • Dried lima beans
  • Plastic resealable baggies
  • Cotton balls
  • Water
  • Plastic bowl

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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