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Rootin' Shooters

You will need:

  • A glass jar or bottom half of a plastic bottle
  • Cotton wool
  • Marker pens
  • Bean seeds from the garden centre (broad beans are good)
  • The height chart download to track your progress
  • A LOT of patience... this one takes a couple of weeks!
  • Indoors
  • 30 mins
  • Easy

Download a height chart for your beanstalk!


Prepare for bean-off...

With an adult helping, take your glass jar (or cut a large plastic bottle in half and use the bottom half) and fill it with water to wet the inside - then tip most of it out, leaving a centimetre of water in the jar. This is the water that your bean will use to grow.

Put cotton wool or tissue paper in the jar, filling it up. Then put a broad bean seed between the glass and the cotton wool so you can see it (remember, the whole point of this is so you can watch your shooter grow!).

Ready, steady, grow!

Put the jar on a windowsill where it will get lots of light... and now, unfortunately, you need to be patient.

Every day, add a teaspoon or two of water to the cotton wool - but only if it needs it. Keep the cotton wool damp, but you don't want a puddle in the bottom of your jar.

Are you still being patient? We thought not. While you're waiting for 'bean-off', decorate your jar with your marker pens and sticky stars. Make sure sure you leave the side where the bean is clear!

Eventually (after a few days) you WILL be rewarded with roots 'n' shoots, we promise!

How high can you grow?

Sometimes the shoots come out of the bottom of the bean and the roots out of the top. Uh-oh! But don't worry... it should fix itself. Guess what? You just have to be patient again.

If you want to track your bean's progress, you can mark the height of the shoot on the side of the jar each day and see how much it's grown... or you can download and print the height chart to see how well your beanstalk is growing.

Once you're an expert beanstalk grower, why not try different pots? Old shoes work well and look great... and what better to grow beans in than a baked bean tin?!

Send us your sprouts!

Our Facebook page needs some pictures of your beanstalks to make it look nice and green! So please share pictures or videos with us by posting to Twitter and tagging with #Unplugged, or post them to our Facebook page!

Please take reasonable care when partaking in the activities. The Children's Society accepts no responsibility for any damage to person or property that results from taking part in the activities on the site.

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