Seeking the Light

The Abundant Garden: Growing Quality Kids Through Gardening by

Image by WordSwag

Seeking the Light: an experiment for children ages seven and up (or younger with the help of an adult). Plants use a process called photosynthesis to make their own food. Photosynthesis is using energy from the sun to make sugars out of carbon dioxide and water. In the following experiment, a child will learn that plants need sunlight to grow by seeing firsthand the process of phototropism, how the plant will twist and turn to reach towards the light.

*This experiment was found in the book How Does Your Garden Grow?: Be Your Own Plant Expert by Dominique and Philippe Joly.

  • Supplies:
    • shoe box
    • potted runner bean
    • sharp knife or scissors
    • 2 extra cardboard pieces
    • tape
  • Place a shoe box on its side so that it’s top sits vertical. Cut a rectangular opening in what is now the top of the box.
  • Prepare two extra pieces of cardboard by cutting them half the width and the same height as the shoe box.
  • Divide the box in thirds by taping one cut cardboard piece on the left side of the box at the one-third mark. Next, tape the other cardboard piece on the right side of the box at the two-thirds mark.
  • Place a potted runner bean in the bottom left of the box, directly under the first cardboard piece.
  • Put the cover back on the box and keep the plant moist in a warm place. Water and observe regularly.
  • Watch as the shoot changes direction in order to pass through the second hole. The plant is persistent and determined to get to the light. It will eventually grow through the hole at the top of the box as it searches for the light.
  • If desired, take this opportunity to talk about how we can search for the light of Jesus (keeping a positive attitude), even when obstacles seem to stand in our way.
  • Take pictures and include in your garden notebook/journal.
  • Tag your pictures with #theabundantgarden on Instagram to share your fun and for an opportunity to be featured @theabundantgarden.