What kind of house do you want to live in when you grow up? Do you want to live in a big mansion? A log cabin? A cozy tiny house? What about a sprout house? With this activity, we’re going to learn about plant germination and roots by building sponge sprout houses! Build the house of your dreams and decorate with lovely greenery!
What you need:
- Various colored sponges
- Seeds (chia, wheat grass, cress, alfalfa)
- Hot glue
What you do:
First, set up your plates and sponges. Encourage students to use their engineering skills to build a fabulous house on the plate using the sponges and toothpicks. You can cut the sponges to better make walls and roof. It’s all up to you! Use hot glue as a backup if the sponges are having trouble sticking together.
Next, it’s time for design! Choose what seeds you want to go where on the sponge sprout house. Mix the desired seeds and just a touch of water together to create a seed slurry. Spread the slurry onto whatever piece of the house you’d like the plants to grow on. The roof and yard work especially great!
Set your houses somewhere sunny and spritz them with a spray bottle full of water to keep them moist. After a few days, the seeds will germinate and begin to grow, covering your sponge sprout house in greenery!
Questions to consider:
- How can the seeds grow without soil?
- Where did the seeds grow best? Why do you think that is?
- How do the plants stay on the sprout house?
Why it works:
Seeds just need sunlight and water in order to germinate. Germination is the process of the roots breaking through the seed coat and grow a stem! The plant can then spread its roots, which help it to stay in place. You’ll notice your seeds’ roots hooking and holding onto different spots of the sponges. That is how the seeds stabilize themselves.
The plants also use their roots to soak up water like a straw. In this case, the roots are sucking up the water from the sponges! This makes the plants grow nice and tall all over the sponge sprout house!