Creating a mini-greenhouse in preschool

Our class had the opportunity to take a class fieldtrip to a beautiful greenhouse, compliments of one of our parents, and it was an eye opening experience to see what all is involved in caring for and nurturing such a massive amount of plant life. In lieu of our greenhouse trip, we made a mini-greenhouse in preschool…

Make a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

Before heading off on our fieldtrip, I wanted to get the kids thinking and talking about a plants. I brought a simple plant that I pulled out of one of my own planters at home and dropped it into a baggie with some water.  As the children passed the plant around the circle, we talked about the leaf, stem, and roots…

Creating a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

One of our students knows all about greenhouses because his grandpa owns the greenhouse we went and visited. So while the children passed around the plant, I asked him to share with the class what a greenhouse is. His answer – “It is a big building where you grow plants.”  With that insightful explanation, we were now ready to make our own greenhouses. In our case, we were going to grow a bean in our greenhouse…

Creating a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

To plant the bean, the children used the droppers to get their paper towels wet with water…

Creating a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

Then they folded up or rolled up the wet paper towel and placed it in the bottom of a baggie…

Creating a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

And finally they counted out at least four beans and dropped them in the baggie on top of the wet paper towel then sealed the bag shut. By the way, I had soaked the beans in water overnight to give them a little head start on the sprouting process…

Creating a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

Once the children had their beans planted in their baggies, they were ready to make their greenhouses. Some of the children made their greenhouse first then planted their beans in a baggie. To make the greenhouse, the children didn’t do much because I prepared the cutout of the greenhouse ahead of time. Yes, I know – this part of the process was not that interesting but I will go ahead and tell you all about it anyway and we can all pretend that this was the most exciting idea you could imagine…

Create a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

The children’s job was to take one of my paper rulers and add numbers along one side of the greenhouse. This is so we can keep track of the growth of our plant as it gets taller in our greenhouse…

Create a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

Then they were to write their name on the greenhouse and had the option to decorate the remaining edges of their greenhouse with other drawings if they wished…

Create a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

And the final step was to put it all together. The children taped their bean in a baggie inside the greenhouse…

Create a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

And then we hung them up in our window to watch the beans grow…

Create a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

We are only on day two of our mini-green house planting and already we are starting to see a tiny bit of growth. The children noticed it right away…

Create a mini-greenhouse by Teach Preschool

Super excited to see whether or not our beans sprout up so we can talk about our measurements along the way!

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By |2013-04-17T14:00:52+00:00April 17th, 2013|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Maureen April 18, 2013 at 12:52 am - Reply

    Really like the idea of having the measuring chart on the side. I may have to incorporate that somehow. Thanks

  2. Mel April 18, 2013 at 7:33 am - Reply

    What a wonderful idea, especially here in Oz when it is winter so harder to get outside in the cold for real gardening! What kind of bean do you use? Thanks!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 18, 2013 at 7:34 am - Reply

      Hi Mel,
      We used a pinto bean but pretty much any type of bean will do!

  3. Veens April 18, 2013 at 7:42 am - Reply

    Just one question (because we have never done this before) – do we have to keep the paper towels moist? And if so, how did you do it?

    Sorry if that is a silly question 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 18, 2013 at 10:55 pm - Reply

      Not a silly question at all. Be sure to get the paper towels very wet, but not ringing wet, before putting them in the baggie and seal the baggie up tight. If you put the baggies in a place where there is too much sun, you will most likely need to open and add a little water from time to time but if it is a sunny but cooler place, you should be okay.

      I have also used cotton balls instead of paper towels which work very well. See this post:

  4. Eddie - The Usual Mayhem April 18, 2013 at 8:23 am - Reply

    I love the idea of having the baggie in a frame with the measurements right beside it!

  5. Shay April 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    Hi Deborah, can i tell you how much of an inspiration you are to me? I subscribed and get your daily post and i wake up each morning to see what you have done. You made me look beyond the story in books and think harder about how to make the book come alive and more meaningful to my class. I appreciate everything you have done and continue to do. I enjoy your posts and you make me try to be a better teacher. My children enjoy the activities i share with them. Thanks for the exposure to higher, and better learning. I feel like my class have learned so much more. Thanks a million!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for that super sweet comment Shay! It means all the world to me to know others are finding value in the things I share from my classroom.

  6. School Sparks Renee April 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Deborah, I love this idea! So cute – using green construction paper for the “greenhouse!” They look great hanging in front of the window. What fabulous learning in so many areas. Your little guys have grown up a lot this year! Thanks for the ideas and the pictures, Renee

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 18, 2013 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      They are so big now!! I am amazed when I look at photos from the beginning of the year to now!

  7. Sandra April 20, 2013 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Love this! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas.

  8. Mel M April 26, 2013 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    My kids want to transplant the beans to a pot of soil. Will this work? Should we wait until they are a certain height before planting in the soil? Thank you!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 27, 2013 at 1:21 am - Reply

      Hi Mel,
      I would think they will be able to transplant but I wouldn’t wait too long. When they get about 2 to 3 inches tall – you might want to go ahead and try. I have to tell you though that I am the worst person to ask when it comes to taking care of plants. If you have a parent that loves planting and gardening – check with that parent:)

  9. janice lasater March 26, 2017 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    I can’t wait to do this activity with my pre-school class! I think they will love doing this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Irina April 16, 2018 at 1:08 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this idea! This is what I needed for tomorrow!

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