I mostly used things from around the house for these experiments. Instead of buying seeds I sprouted avocado and lemon seeds. It takes a little more work but I enjoyed it. I even used old kitchen containers instead of buying new pots if I didn't have enough.
My first avocado seed didn't sprout. If it takes longer than a month, try a different seed. Over half of my lemon seeds sprouted and I just used seeds from the least expensive lemons. It is important to sprout more lemon seeds than you will actually need.
- Sprout an avocado seed. This is a fun way to show kids the parts of the plant without having to kill one. As the seed sprouts kids can see the roots and the stalk. Easy way for kids to see what the roots do. I found it easier to explain as I was planting the sprout.
You can see the end result in the picture below.
- Keep a plant in the dark. This is most effective when you have two plants to compare. I didn't keep one plant in the complete dark, just under a side table. I kept the second plant on the window sill. The results were pretty clear.
- Don't water a plant. After I planted the avocado seed and let it get to a decent size I didn't give it water for a week. It eventually recovered but as you can see on the leaf there was some permanent damage.
There are so many other ways to teach kids about plants. Please share your ideas in the comments. Include posts if you have them.