We all know the well-known fairy tale "Jack & The Beanstalk" but have you ever grown a beanstalk that Jack could climb? This fun gardening activity not only encourages kids to care for plants & observe them as they grow but also invites them to explore a classic story, & explore some maths skills too.
It's the perfect time of year to start planting vegetables ready for a Summer crop. One of the easiest veggies to grow are beans. Most varieties grow fairly quickly so they're an ideal plant for any eager young gardeners who want speedy results.
For this activity we used runner bean seeds which we planted into a recycled flowerpot filled with compost. We used 2 seeds just in case one failed to germinate. We then watered the compost before leaving the beans to sprout on a sunny windowsill. Within 8 days we saw our first bean popping up through the soil & then the other appeared just 3 days later.
Once our beans were emerging it was time to add our bean support. We wanted to create a plant stake that would hold the beanstalk straight, allow us to measure the height of the growing plant & allow Jack to climb up the plant too. For this, we used 4 wide lolly sticks (doubled together) which enabled us to create a simple support. We secured them together with sticky tape & marked measurements onto the lolly sticks using a ruler as a guide.
As the bean started to grow Jack started to "climb" the beanstalk by sliding up our plant stake.
As well as maths, this activity is great for inspiring some imaginative play & creative literacy too. Kids could read the classic "Jack & the Beanstalk" story, or create & retell their own version using their Lego figure as the main character in a brand new adventure.
I hope your beanstalks grow well & produce a good crop of 'magic' beans which can be enjoyed over the Summer.
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