Sowing seeds in supermarket packaging


Sow seeds in boxes, tins and jars to make a display of the plants and foods we eat growing in their packaging.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): Science, Art&DT

Learning objectives

  • Learn what foods look like when they are grown from seed
  • Learn what plants need to grow
  • Recycle packaging


Collect the packaging beforehand.
Ensure all containers have sufficient drainage to grow plants, e.g. tins will need to have holes punched in the base (adults should supervise or do this) and glass jars should have a layer of gravel at the bottom. 


  • Food packaging or containers, tins etc
  • Plastic plant pots
  • Compost and vermiculite
  • Insulating tape to protect from sharp edges
  • Gravel to fill bottom of glass containers or a hammer and nail to make holes
  • Seeds such as dried peas, pulses, popping corn, wheat and vegetable seeds

Step by step

  1. Choose which seeds you will be sowing in relation to the supermarket packaging e.g. wheat for Special K box, popcorn for cornflakes box.
  2. Fill the pot or container with compost and tap on the table to settle and level the compost.
  3. Decide how many seeds you are going to sow depending on their size. Large seeds will need to be sown individually, use a dibber to make the hole and cover with compost. Smaller seeds will need to be sown on the surface of the compost and covered with a thin layer of sieved compost or vermiculite.
  4. Record the date when the seeds were sown and the name of the plant. You may need to prick them out at a later date.
  5. Water carefully and place on a warm sunny window ledge or in a propagator if the room is cold or in the greenhouse.
  6. When the seeds have grown make a nice display in the classroom showing all the different foods you have grown.

Hints & tips

  • If using cardboard packaging, sow the seeds into plastic plant pots and insert into the containers for the final display.
  • Use this activity as part of Supermarket Sweep class growing topic

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