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Growing wheat sprouts

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Science

Duration/age

Duration: 
Suitable for children: 
Skills this activity improves: 
Young girl watering wheat sprouts

Wheat sprouts can grow in just a couple of weeks and your child will be able to watch them change from day to day.

Put the wheat in a bowl, cover it with water and let it soak for two days. Watch what happens. Does it look any different? You will need to change the water every day.

Let’s use the strainer to pour out the water. Why does the strainer let the water through but not the wheat?

Pour some more water in gently so it covers all of the wheat.

After two days drain the seeds and look carefully - are there any little sprouts growing? Put the wheat seeds in a shallow dish and cover them with a damp paper towel. Each day, lift up the paper towel and sprinkle little bits of water on the seeds. Make sure to keep the paper towel damp.

How does the paper towel feel? Is it dry? Should we put some water on it so it is moist?

When the sprouts have grown to about one centimetre take off the paper towel. Keep watering them a little bit every day.

Just sprinkle the water with your fingers. How tall will they grow?

Materials you will need

  • Wheat
  • A shallow dish
  • Paper towel

Why does this matter?

When your child is observing the sprouts they will be learning about height and how things grow. Observation helps children to notice small differences and changes. In this activity, children are observing the changes over time.

When your child is predicting what will happen next they are learning to explore options. ‘Will the sprouts grow a little bit or a lot each day?’ 

What does this lead to?

Using mathematical skills like measuring, observing and predicting helps children become interested in the world around them.

Language to use

  • Wheat, seeds, sprout
  • Damp, moist, dry
  • Paper towel
  • Grow, measure, centimetre

Questions to use

  • How many days have we been watering the wheat seeds?
  • How tall are the sprouts today? 

Useful tips

  1. You might also like to take a look at the Planting a garden you can eat activity.
  2. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

Try growing some wheat seeds in a pot or in the ground. How tall will they grow?

Variation by age

Three to five year olds

  • Try sprouting some other seeds. Usually sprouts are grown to be eaten, so they are sprouted in jars. 
    Rinse some seeds under running water. Put them in a clean jar and cover them with water. Put some cheesecloth or a clean stocking over the top of the jar and fasten it with a rubber band. 
    Each day pour out the water and rinse the seeds. Don’t leave any water in the jar. Stand back and watch them grow.

Questions to ask

  • What is happening in the jar?
  • Why are they growing?
  • What could we eat them with? How do they taste?

Language to use

  • Jar, cover
  • Rinse, soak
  • Grow