3 Tips for Starting Seeds with Kids

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in E-Course – Becoming a Natural Teacher, The Seedling BLOG | 6 comments

3 Tips for Starting Seeds with Kids

Much of our work as Natural Teachers is about reconnecting children to nature. The winter months can be extremely challenging. Planting and growing seeds is a great solution for keeping kids busy and connected with Nature.

Let’s talk SEEDS! Planting seeds with kids is an easy way to them excited about gardening. There is so much to learn. Seed identification, seed parts, investigation, germination, and photosynthesis. We all have seeds stories. My seed story begins with me and my own Seed Sanctuary. I always look forward to running to check the germination process and witnessing the birth of new baby plants. I can’t wait to get started! I hope you and your children can join me. Here are a few tips.

Tip #1: Curiosity Conversations:

Asking questions is a great way to learn and get kids engaged with any topic. Here are a few questions to get you started on your seed explorations:

  • What type of seeds is best to start with kids?
  • When is the best time to start seeds? How do I find out?
  • How much room do I need to start seeds?
  • Do I need a special grow lamp for seeds? Or can I use a window with the natural sun?
  • What if I grow seeds using toilet paper rolls?
  • What if I grow seeds using newspaper?
  • What different activities can we do to teach kids about plant parts

Tip #2: Materials Checklist:

Brainstorming a list of seed supplies with kids is an important step to teaching kids to become garden stewards. What do you need to grow seeds? Here are a few ideas to get you started. 20150916_130758_resized

  • Potting Soil
  • Seeds with growing directions
  • Water
  • Good Light
  • Growing stations
  • Labels
  • Seed Growth Log

Tip #3: Get Started: Dig In

Let’s go!

Step One: Create Grow Stations (these can be made out of recycled materials or commercial seeding trays)

Using Recycled Materials for Seeds Stations20150414_131530_resized

  • Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Milk Cartons
  • Plastic Soda Bottles
  • Egg Cartons
  • Newspaper Rolls
  • Plant Trays
  • Old Shoes, Hats, and Baskets…

Step Two: Purchase Supplies

  • Grow Lamp
  • Soil
  • Seeds

Step Three: Create Learning Stations, PLAY & Put It All Together

Set up your station, plant seeds in seed trays, journal about what is happening and have fun!

Do you have a seed story? Share your seed story in the comments below. Do you want to learn more about how to design your outdoor classroom? Check out the Teaching in the Dirt: Designing Outdoor Classrooms e-Course. 




  1. My coworker is in charge of garden and seed exploration. She has not started any indoor gardening projects for the Winter though, and I’m sure sh would love these ideas on how to get started! Our students parents love donating recycled materials for projects and I’m sure they’d be happy to help. Thank you for sharing

    • Ahhh….you or your co-worker might like the Exploring Nature in Winter Master Class that is coming up in February.

  2. In January, I started looking for gardening blogs and books at the library that would be helpful in my work with my day care children. I found The Creative Vegetable Gardener.com, who gardens here in the northwest, and has a great article on seed starting 101. I also found Square Foot Gardening With Kids, at the library, which had many ideas geared specifically toward 2-5 year olds. I am developing a timeline of activities, and a list of supplies to begin gathering. This is just so much fun!

  3. Last year a friend donated a plastic fold up greenhouse to my classroom. It is time to dust it off and get it ready for seedlings. Our classroom is quite dark so we tend to have better luck buying small plants and nurturing them until they are a good size to put outside. We do not want to miss out on planting seeds however, so we will plant morning glory seeds and hope they make it to our trellis. There is a new sign there awaiting their arrival. In fact we have new signage throughout our outdoor classroom. The chimes are also a new addition last fall. We constructed it from old and discarded wind chimes. A friend drilled holes in a piece of driftwood and we assembled it with rainbow colored parachute cord. It lives indoors during the winter but we couldn’t resist bring it out these past few glorious days. It is a happy spot for the children to play

  4. During the Spring session of my program’s S.T.E.A.M group, we had planted Magnolia seeds for Mother’s Day. We discussed the size of the seeds and how they looked compared to other seeds they have seen before. We discussed different seeds that are in some of the foods we eat and talked about what a seed needs to grow. There was an activity that I had created for a math course I was taking that included the differences between seeds and sorting them by size.

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