Just because it’s chilly out doesn’t mean that you have to forget about all things green and growing! In just a couple months, you’ll be starting to sprout early seedlings for your garden. In the meantime, an indoor project that you can do with your kids that will also help you practice and prepare for sprouting season is just what you need!
Try out this simple growing project to inspire a love of gardening in your child, and keep them busy during the cold winter days this month.
Sprouting Beans with Your Kids
The beauty of bean sprouts is that they grow incredibly fast! Your children will be able to see progress each day, which is immensely gratifying. There are plenty of other plants you can try sprouting together with your kids, but since beans are so accessible and easy to sprout, it can be a great place to start! Added bonus: bean sprouts are super-healthy additions to your meals. Tossed in a salad or added to a sandwich, they’re a superfood boost with an extra crunch.
Here are five simple steps to grow beansprouts in your own kitchen:
- Select the beans that you want to sprout. Lentils and mung beans are usually the easiest to sprout, and they’re also really nutritious. In order to sprout the beans, you’ll want to get them as fresh as possible, but you don’t necessarily have to buy special sprouting beans. Most dried beans at the store (in bulk bins or bagged) will sprout. However, since the germination rate is an unknown factor for those, it might be best to try a few different kinds of beans.
- Soak the beans overnight (at least 8 hours) to wake them up.
- Place a soaked paper towel on a plate or cookie sheet. Place your setup in an area that gets good light and will be out of the way of your normal kitchen activities.
- Place your soaked beans on top of the wet paper towels, and then add another layer of wet paper towels on top.
- Each day, re-wet the paper towels and check the beans to see if there are signs of new life.
It should only take a week for you to see results from your bean-growing experiment. You can also try growing them inside of a glass jar, scrunched up with damp paper towels.
Beans don’t usually take well to transplanting, so these probably won’t be the sprouts that you place in your garden for summer snap peas. However, since bean sprouts are ready to eat before they produce little beans of their own, you can top off the experience with your child by making some pita-bread sandwiches with the bean sprouts.