Looking for creative ways to teach the plant life cycle? These fun and free activities include videos, hands-on experiments, printables, and more. Kids of all ages will learn about the cycle, and how they can help plants grow and thrive.

1. Read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle

Eric Carle’s The Tiny Seed is the perfect way to introduce the plant life cycle to little ones. Listen to it for storytime, then use the book as a springboard to further activities.

2. Start with an anchor chart

Anchor chart showing the life cycle and parts of a plant

Have your students help you create an anchor chart of the plant life cycle, then post it in your classroom for reference as you do some hands-on learning.

Source: First Grade Fanatic/Pinterest

3. Let SciShow inspire a lesson

We love SciShow! If you need a strong video to kick off a lesson about seeds or the plant life cycle, this is a good place to start.

4. See it grow in slow-mo

Check out this time-lapse video, showing the fabulous details of how a plant’s root system grows quickly over the course of a few days. After this, kids will definitely want to see it happen for themselves!

5. Spin a plant life cycle plate

Printable worksheet showing the plant life cycle in a circle

Grab the free printables and watch this video to learn how to turn them into an interactive learning tool with paper plates.

Learn more: Plant Life Cycle Printables

6. Germinate in a jar

Bean seeds growing in a mason jar full of wet paper towels

This is one of those classic plant life cycle activities every kid should try. Grow a bean seed in wet paper towels up against the side of a glass jar. Students will be able to see the roots form, the sprout take off, and the seedling reach for the sky!

Learn more: How Wee Learn

7. Build a sprout house

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

This is another cute idea for watching seeds sprout. For this one, all you need is a sunny window (no soil required).

Learn more: Playdough to Plato

8. Sort sprouted seeds

Young student sorting sprouted seeds according to the part of the plant life cycle they've reached

As your seeds begin to grow, sort and draw the various stages. Little ones can learn simple vocab like root, sprout, and seedling. Older students can tackle advanced terms like cotyledon, monocot, and dicot.

Learn more: Montessori Nature

9. Learn whether plants really need light

Two bean seeds grown in wet paper towels in clear glasses, one grown in light and the other in darkness

Most plants need light to grow and thrive. Prove that fact for yourself with this simple experiment.

Learn more: Life At The Zoo

10. Create living art with cress

Watercress grown in two round jars filled with wet cotton, with faces drawn on the jars. Text reads Growing Cress!

Watercress is fun to watch because it grows very quickly on damp cotton. Try growing it as “hair,” or sow the seeds to create patterns or letters.

Learn more: The Imagination Tree

11. Sprout sweet potatoes

Sweet potato suspended in a jar of water by toothpicks, with roots and sprouts growing from it (Plant Life Cycle)

Not every plant needs seeds to reproduce! Grow a sweet potato to learn about a different kind of plant life cycle.

Learn more: Pre-K Pages

12. Find out why seeds have coats

Two plates of sprouted seeds, one with seed coats removed

Seed coats provide protection, but what happens if you remove them? Go hands-on and find out in this interesting experiment.

Learn more: Gift of Curiosity

13. Sculpt the plant life cycle in clay

Can’t grow a plant yourself? Sculpt one from clay instead! Watch this Claymation video for inspiration, then pull out the Play-Doh and get to work!

14. Don’t forget about pollinators!

Students wearing pipe cleaner bees on their fingers over a plate of cheese powder

Seed-bearing plants require pollination, often helped along by insects like bees and butterflies. This pipe cleaner activity shows little ones how pollination works.

Learn more: Pollinators/Around the Kampfire

15. Explode a seed pod

Students exploding a balloon full of seeds and sand

Plants that rely on seeds as part of their life cycle need to ensure they spread far and wide. Some plants even have exploding seed pods that help the process along! Learn about them in this cool activity.

Learn more: Seed Pods/Around the Kampfire

16. Display a life cycle bulletin board

3-D bulletin board showing the plant life cycle with paper flowers

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

Source: Leslie Anderson/Pinterest

17. Wear a plant life cycle hat

Young student wearing a paper hat showing the plant life cycle

Get some practice sequencing as you cut out and paste together this sweet little topper. Kids will love wearing it as they learn.

Learn more: Herding Kats in Kindergarten

18. Fold a flower flipbook

Collage of flower life cycle flap book images

The petals of this free printable flower unfold to reveal the stages of a plant’s life cycle. So clever!

Learn more: Teaching Momster/Teachers Pay Teachers

19. Diagram paper plants with shredded soil

Paper flower with center divided to show the life cycle of a plant

This plant life cycle diagram uses paper shreds for soil, a cupcake liner for the flower, and more smart little details that kids will really appreciate.

Learn more: Cara Carroll

20. Try a digital flipbook

Digital plant life cycle flipbook screenshot with printed version of book too

Learning online? This free digital activity includes a printable version for kids to complete at home, but it can also be completed virtually to save paper.

Learn more: Conversations in Literacy

21. Sequence a sunflower story

Sunflower flipbook with plant life cycle sentences to sequence

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

Learn more: Kroger’s Kindergarten

22. Regrow kitchen scraps

Plants growing from veggie scraps like lettuce and carrots

Here’s another project showing that not every plant needs seeds. Save kitchen scraps and try regrowing them, with or without soil.

Learn more: A Piece of Rainbow

Got a green thumb? Try these 18 Clever Ways to Bring Gardening Into the Classroom.

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22 Free Plant Life Cycle Activities That Grow the Learning Fun