Store cupboard scientist


Use dried beans and seeds from your home store cupboard to carry out a plant growth experiment.

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

Learning objectives

  • Observe how water and light affect how plants grow
  • Learn to think scientifically

Essential background information


Look in your food cupboards at home for any examples of seeds e.g. popping corn, lentils, chick peas, dried peas, mung beans etc.


  • Small plant pots or any small container with holes
  • Compost
  • Plant labels
  • Watering equipment
  • Packet of dried mixed beans
  • Small containers for sorting beans

Step by step

  1. Decide the type of investigation you want to carry out. i.e. Compare the effects of light/no light, correct water/ no water/ too much water, depth of sowing, growing inside/ outside on one type of bean or give all the different beans the same growing conditions.
  2. Sort the beans into different types and try to identify/ name them.
  3. Plant the seeds individually in pots, label with their name, date and note the conditions in which they are grown.
  4. Transfer the containers to a range of locations depending on what you are investigating.
  5. Care for the seeds depending upon the investigation e.g. water or don’t water.
  6. Record the development of your seed in a diary and evaluate the results after 3-4 weeks. As a scientist what have you discovered?

Hints & tips

  • Try growing dried popcorn kernals and eat the shoots
  • Why not grow some pea shoots to add to a salad
  • Use this activity as part of Supermarket Sweep growing topic