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environmental science and biology

Garden in a Glove

Investigate the germination of seeds by exploring what plants need to grow.


  • Plastic glove
  • Permanent marker
  • Five types of seeds
  • Cotton balls
  • Water
  • Pipe cleaner


  1. Use a marker to write the name of the seeds on each of the glove's fingers. Write one seed type per finger.
  2. Dip the cotton balls in water and wring them out. The cotton balls should be slightly damp.
  3. Put two or three seeds of the same type into each cotton ball.
  4. Place a cotton ball inside each finger of the glove. You may need to use a pencil to push the cotton ball all the way to the tip of the glove's finger. Make sure the type of seed matches the label written on the finger.
  5. Blow a small amount of air into the plastic glove and close it with a pipe cleaner.
  6. Tape or hang the glove in a warm place, like a sunny window. Keep an eye on the seeds over the next few days - you should start to notice something interesting!

What's happening?

Each seed contains a baby plant that will start to grow under the right conditions. All a seed needs to begin growing is warmth and water. The first stage in seed growth is called germination, which is when the tiny root emerges from the outer seed covering. Once the seed starts sprouting, it needs soil, room for the roots to grow, sunlight and water.


The stage of growth when a plant root sprouts from the outer seed covering