Video 2: What’s in the beans?

“Who knows? Let’s find out,” is what I said to these curious boys. Then I immediately asked, “what do you think?”

The conversation changed from magical guesses to relatively realistic ones. Asking open-ended questions* was key. This episode looks at creating natural spaces in our homes and use that opportunity to look at life cycles right before our eyes! Maybe your access to a park or to several acres in the woods is limited. Regardless, children benefit from interacting with natural phenomena a great deal and we can offer this to them in more ways than we realize.

Set-Up for Episode #2:

  • Different types of store-bought beans
  • Paper towel
  • See-through cups
  • Dirt
  • Spoons
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Tray
  • Sunlight
  • Planting pots
  • Window sills (a greenhouse of sorts)
  • A visit to your local library (for book tips, visit our BookTip page!)

Some people use cotton instead of paper towels for germinating beans and that works just fine. I use a good amount of water without ‘drowning’ them. If you don’t have planting pots around the house, you can use virtually anything that can hold dirt and water. To drain the water, use gravel under dirt, or the leftover marbles from episode #2! This helps you store the water away so the roots of your plants don’t get too soggy.

Did you find this helpful? Need more? Let us know how we can help you enjoy this site with your children by leaving a comment below.

Have fun and go beyond the classroom!


*Stay away from questions that you already have the answer for, or that require a yes, or no answer. Kids can tell when you are ‘quizzing’ them and more often than not, they will shut down. They also can tell when you are being sincere. Instead, ask questions that need more than a number, or a word. Your questions might start with “why”, “how so”, “how can we”, “what if”, etc. If you really must know whether Samantha is aware that two plus two is four, you can always ‘wonder:’ “Hmm. I wonder what we might get if I bring my two lima beans to join your two pinto beans.” “How did you come up with that number?” Well, if you just want a plain number, turn this conversation into a game like, “add-a-number:” “If I have two and you have three, we have_______.” Remember to add giggles to this fun!

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