What do beans need?

how to make a bean necklace

Β Take one bowl of soil, a handful of beans, some string (or elastic), little bags and three enthusiastic children

soil in bags

Carefully fill the bags with soil.

how full

About a half or two third full. So long as the bean has enough soil to hide in.

seed in bag

Pop one bean in the bag. Push it in so you can’t see it at all.

(Optional: give it a name. Something like “Dragon bean”, “Moon bean” or “Yummy”)

add water

Add a little bit of water. Not too much that you get a puddle forming in the bottom of the bag, but enough that the soil is slightly sticky.Β  Close the top of the bag, but not completely.

Make a tiny hole in the top of the bag and thread through rafia or string. We use shirring elastic for toddlers/younger children.

wear seed necklace

Tie a knot and hang it round your neck.

What do beans need? To germinate? Soil, oxygen, water and the warmth of a child.

(We hang the necklaces up in a window when the children cannot wear them. Once they start to sprout and the roots need more room, we move them to a bigger pot.)


Joining in with the #CountryKids
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

and #LetKidsBeKids

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20 thoughts on “What do beans need?

  • Saturday 29 March, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    What an excellent idea! I’ve never seen anything like it, and it’s brilliant for actually seeing life start out πŸ™‚

    • Saturday 29 March, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      We do this every year. Found it goes down well at garden parties. Love seeing all the children (and a few grown-ups) leaving the party wearing their beans. For weeks after children will come racing up to me and give me a progress report on their bean.

    • Sunday 30 March, 2014 at 10:44 am

      They love wearing them. Kind of activity that helps them to understand the growing process that little bit more.

  • Saturday 29 March, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    The most original idea I have seen in ages. You really are full of inspiration, this would make a great birthday party craft idea. Thank you for sharing your bean necklaces on Country Kids.

    • Sunday 30 March, 2014 at 10:52 am

      That is so kind! It really does go down well with the children. We’ve done it at parties and after school play dates. I bought a batch of 200 of the bags for the first party. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with the other 175, but I think I’m finally out of them! That’s a lot of beans!

  • Saturday 29 March, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    I’ve not seen this done before, so thank you for sharing this very good idea. πŸ™‚ I like the very clear instructions you’ve written for this post and others. I’ll have to keep coming back for inspiration.

    • Sunday 30 March, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ I hope you have fun making your own.

    • Sunday 30 March, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      I’m guessing that yours in a voice of experience πŸ˜€ Yes, harder to ignore the beans in their little bags, especially with their owners keeping a good eye on them.

  • Monday 31 March, 2014 at 12:04 am

    This is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

    • Monday 31 March, 2014 at 10:39 am

      Thanks Kim πŸ™‚

  • Monday 31 March, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    What a great idea, love it! So simple, but so interesting πŸ™‚

    • Tuesday 1 April, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Very simple! It’s an activity that all ages can join in. I know my children check each day to see whose bean has started sprouting. Provides interest the whole growing season!

  • Tuesday 1 April, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I have to admit I’m not 100% thrilled with this idea – even elastic round a toddler’s neck is really, really dangerous?

    • Tuesday 1 April, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      As the adult in charge, it is really your job to judge the situation. After all we make safety decisions for our children every day.

      A toddler can drown in an inch of water, but we keep an eye on them at the beach and swimming pool. I would not deprive them of the experience. Neither did I find the urge to replace every button on their clothes to ones that were deemed not to be choke hazards. We all assess the situation according to our child and trust ourselves to be parents.

      We use shirring elastic which is very thin and breakable. Haven’t compared, but I suspect it breaks as easily as the velcro closures of the medals that they are awarded on Nursery sports days. I wouldn’t send them to bed wearing the necklace, or any necklace, but that is common sense.

      In my experience, they never keep the necklaces on long (combination of soil and water, makes it heavy and annoying to wear after a while) and they usually end up back with the grown-up in charge. They could always miss out the wearing stage and put it straight on the window.

    • Wednesday 2 April, 2014 at 10:36 am

      They love checking on them every morning. Most loved beans in the world!

  • Wednesday 2 April, 2014 at 9:32 am

    What a lovely interesting idea. I bet the children think it’s fun.
    Thanks for sharing #LetKidsBeKids

    • Wednesday 2 April, 2014 at 10:35 am

      The necklaces are hanging up in the window now. Two have started sprouting and I may need to replace the other. The failed bean belongs to the youngest. The new one will soon catch up. Fingers crossed!

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