Free and creative teaching ideas

Looking for creative plant life cycle activities? These fun and free learning ideas include videos, hands-on experiments, printable and more. Kids of all ages will learn about cycles and how they can help plants grow and improve.

1. Read Tiny seeds By Eric Carly

Eric Carl Tiny seeds One of the best references to the plant life cycle for young children. Listen to it for the duration of the story, then use the book as a springboard for further activities.

2. Start with an anchor chart

The anchor chart shows the life cycle and parts of a plant

Help your students create an anchor chart of the plant life cycle, then post it in your classroom for reference as you learn something by hand.

Learn more: Plant anchor charts from First Grade Fanatic / Pinterest

3. Let SciSho inspire a lesson

We love SciShow! If you need a powerful video to start a lesson about the life cycle of seeds or plants, this is a good place to start.

4. Watch it grow slowly

Check out this time-lapse video that shows a fascinating account of how a plant’s core system grows rapidly in a matter of days. After that, the kids will definitely want to see this happen for themselves!

5. Spin a plant life cycle plate

The printable worksheet shows the life cycle of plants in a circle

Take this free printable item and watch this video to learn how to turn paper plates into an interactive learning tool.

Learn more: Plant life cycle printable from WeAreTeachers

6. Shoot in a jar

Bean seeds are grown in a mason's jar filled with wet paper towels

This is an activity in the classic plant life cycle that every child should try. Grow a bean seed in a wet paper towel next to a glass jar. Students will see the formation of roots, germination, and seedlings reach the sky!

Learn more: Growing jars from How We Learn

7. Make a sprout house

Paper house with window of plastic bag containing bean seeds, labeled My Little Sprout House (Plant Life Cycle)

This is another nice idea to see the seeds germinate. For this, all you need is a sunny window (no soil required).

Learn more: Sprout house from Pledo to Plato

8. Arrange the germinated seeds

The young student picks the germinated seeds according to the life cycle part of the tree they have reached

Arrange and draw different steps as your seeds begin to grow. Young ones can learn simple words like roots, shoots and seedlings. Older students can deal with advanced terms such as cotyledon, monocot, and dicot.

Learn more: Seed picking from Montessori Nature

9. Create living art with Cress

Watercress grows in two round jars filled with wet cotton, the faces of which are painted on jars.  Growing Cress is written in the text!

Watercress is fun to watch because it grows very fast on damp cotton. Try to grow it as “hair” or sow seeds to create a pattern or letter.

Learn more: Growing Watercress from Imagination Tree

10. Germinate sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are hung in water containers by toothpicks, from which roots and sprouts grow (plant life cycle).

Seeds are not required for reproduction of every plant! Cultivate a sweet potato to learn about a different type of plant life cycle.

Learn more: Sprouting sweet potatoes from pre-K pages

11. Discover why seeds have coating

Two plates of germinated seeds, removed with a seed coating

Seed cover provides protection, but what if you remove them? Go hand in hand and find out this interesting test.

Learn more: Seed cover test from Gift of Curiosity

12. Sculpt the life cycle of plants in clay

Can’t grow a tree by yourself? Instead of a sculpture from clay! Watch this Claymation video for inspiration, then pull Play-Doh and get started!

13. Don’t forget about pollen!

Students wearing pipe cleaner bees on a plate of cheese powder

Seed-bearing plants need pollination, often with the help of insects such as bees and butterflies. This pipe cleaner activity shows youngsters how pollination works.

Learn more: Pipe cleaner pollen from around the campfire

14. Explode a seed pod

Students are exploding a balloon filled with seeds and sand

It is important to ensure that plants that rely on seeds as part of their life cycle spread far and wide. Some trees even have sprouted seed pods that help the process! Learn about them in this quiet activity.

Learn more: Seed pod activity around the campfire

15. Display a life cycle bulletin board

The 3-D bulletin board shows the life cycle of plants with paper flowers

We love to understand how clean and easy this plant life cycle bulletin board is. And a gorgeous touch of those colorful flowers!

Source: Lifecycle Bulletin Board from Leslie Anderson / Pinterest

16. Wear a plant life cycle hat

A young student wearing a paper hat shows the life cycle of plants

You get some practice sequencing as you cut and paste this sweet little topper together. Kids will love to wear it as they learn.

Learn more: From Harding Cats in Kindergarten to Plant Life Cycle Hats

17. Fold a flower inverted book

Collage of Flap book pictures of the flower life cycle

These free printable flower petals are exposed to reveal the stages of a plant’s life cycle. How clever!

Learn more: Flower flip book from Teaching Momster / Teachers Pay Teachers

18. Image of a paper tree with pieces of soil

Centrifugal paper flowers to show the life cycle of a plant

This plant life cycle image uses pieces of paper for soil, a cupcake liner for flowers and more smart little details that kids will really appreciate.

Learn more: Diagram Paper Plant from Cara Carroll

19. Try a digital flip-book

Also a digital plant life cycle flipbook screenshot with a printed version of the book

Learning online? This free digital activity has a printable version for kids to complete at home, but it can be practically completed for paper storage.

Learn more: Digital flip books from Literacy Conversations

20. The sequence of a sunflower story

Sunflower flipbook with sequential plant life cycle sentences

Tell the story of a sunflower life cycle with this free printable activity. Cut the sunflower petals, stem and center flaps from the construction paper, then place the sentences in sequence and attach to each flap.

Learn more: Sunflower Sequencing from Kroger’s Kindergarten

21. Reconstruct kitchen scraps

Plants grown from vegetable scraps like lettuce and carrots

Another project shown here is that not every tree needs seeds. Save kitchen scraps and try to replenish them with or without soil.

Learn more: Recreate kitchen scraps from a piece of rainbow

Got a green thumb? Try these 18 clever ways to garden in the classroom.

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