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Magic Beans Experiment

In Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack grows a beanstalk big enough to climb to the giant's realm. Though ordinary beanstalks aren’t big enough to climb, it still feels like magic watching them turn from seed to sprout. With this science experiment, watch the process of germination unfold!


  • Glass jar

  • Paper towels

  • Bean seeds (or pea seeds or sunflower seeds)

  • Water


  1. Stuff paper towels into your mason jar until it’s full.

  2. Add water to the jar so the paper towel is damp, but not flooded.

  3. Push the seeds down around the edge of the jar so you can still see them from the outside, and are pressed up against the wet paper towel.

  4. Wait a few days, making sure the paper towel stays damp. Water as necessary. After a few days, a root will appear. Then, watch for root hairs to grow, and a sprout to appear.

  5. You’ve sprouted a bean!

How does it work?

Germinating is when a seed “wakes up” and is ready to start growing. Until then, seeds are called “dormant,” like they’re taking a long nap. Seeds germinate when the conditions around them are exactly right. This makes sure that the seeds have a good chance of turning into plants. In this experiment, you are supplying the seed with the moisture needed to wake them up. So, they start putting out a root and eventually a sprout, because they feel like they're in the right environment to start growing!


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