Science for Kids: Observing Plant Growth Using Bulbs

One of our favorite science activities for kids is observing plant growth. In this science experiment for kids, children will be forcing bulbs into bloom and observing the changes that take place over time. This science exploration allows students the opportunity to observe parts of the plant up close and monitor its growth on a free printable recording sheet.

NGSS: Disciplinary Core Idea LS1.C

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Science for Kids: Observing Plant Growth with Bulbs


Kids love taking part in plant experiments and always seem so fascinated by living things and how they grow. (Be sure to check out our Bean Dissection Experiment for Kids!) In this experiment children will be observing the growth of a bulb over time and recording their observations on a free printable observation sheet! (This post contains affiliate links.)

 Force growing bulbs with children


Materials for Plant Growth Science Experiment

Plant Growth Observation Sheet Printable

Procedure for Observing Plant Growth with Bulbs

  1. Fill a clear container about 3/4 full with rocks, marbles, or pebbles.
  2. Place the bulb on top. (Be sure you put the bulb in the container root side down.)
  3. Fill the glass with water until it’s just barely covering the bottom of the bulb.
  4. Place the bulb in a sunny window.
  5. Continue observing the bulb each day and watch what happens. Be sure to add water to the container as the water level begins to go down.
  6. Record your observations each week on the free printable.


Science for Kids: Observing Plant Growth with Bulbs


What’s Going On?

By planting a bulb in a clear container with stones, you’ll be able to observe the roots growing, as well as observe the plant growing above the rocks.  

Science for Kids: Observing Plant Growth with Bulbs Science for Kids: Observing Plant Growth with Bulbs


Want to go even further?

Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages.

    • Do this experiment with different kinds of bulbs. Compare your observations.
    • Have an adult help you cut the bulb in half vertically. What is inside? Cut another bulb in half horizontally. What do you see?
    • Plant some bulbs outside around your house or in a pot.
    • Create a graph and chart the growth of your bulb each day.
    • Plant many bulbs in a large container the same way we did above to create a flowering centerpiece. You could even decorate it!


Be sure to check out STEAM Kids book and ebook for even more creative STEM and STEAM ideas!

STEAM Kids: 50+ STEAM STEM activities for kids


Plant Science for Kids: Observing plant growth with bulbs! Explore the parts of a plant over time and monitor its growth with a free printable recording sheet. Fun science activity for spring! ~


  1. What a great idea to plant the bulb in a clear container. My son is fascinated by roots, because we spend a lot of time in the woods and he’s always encountering big tree roots. This would be a fun way for him to observe smaller roots.

    • Thanks, Ann! We had actually just checked some books out at the library about roots! Lucy is always excited to wake up each morning and observe the changes.

  2. What a fun project!! Bulbs are amazing, especially Amaryllis…I am always surprised to see how tall they can grow. Stopping by from Cheerios & Lattes!

  3. I am just loving your Science Invitation Saturday posts! Thanks for linking this to Discover and Explore. I’ll be featuring this next Tuesday.

    I hope you’ll be back to share for our Moon, Stars, and Nighttime Sky theme this week.

    • Thanks so much, Shaunna! I’m so excited to check out your next theme. We named my daughter after the moon~ she will love all you share I’m sure!

  4. What a great experiment!! So much to learn and draw from. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  5. I’ve got a few flower bulbs I planted a few years ago that are still growing, I love the way they look.

  6. Another great experiment! My girls just love watching things grow, they would love this! Thanks for sharing on We Made That!

  7. What a good idea to do it in a see through container. My two are very interested in gardening at the moment and I think they would be very interested in this activity. Thank you for linking it up at Gardening Adventures

  8. We recently started growing beans in a clear cup. After seeing this I want to start another one with bulb now!

  9. Kiauna says:

    What type of bulbs are best? How often should they be watered? About how long will it take for them to grow?

    • Hi Kiauna~ I’ve had success with all the different bulbs I’ve used over the years. As for the water, we just try to keep the roots and bottom of the bulb covered so maybe every 2-3 days. Ours started growing in about 1 week!

  10. Bulbs are just to cool! We haven’t tried them here, but after seeing yours I think we need to try too. Thank you for linking this post to Dig Into Gardening.

  11. Fun and easy! Pinning this. 🙂

  12. What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  13. Cheryl Stanke says:

    What kind of bulbs do you use?

  14. We’ve started our vegetable garden from seed and my two boys have loved watching the seeds sprout. I love the idea of planting a bulb though. Thanks for sharing at the After School Linky. I’ve pinned this for later!

  15. Once the bulbs have sprouted and grown roots, can you transplant them to the ground?

    • Yes! I actually just had a student who did this with me last year tell me he planted his bulbs in his yard after the activity, and now his bulbs are starting to grow again out in his yard this year.

  16. Anonymous says:

    How long are they good to stay in the cup until they need to be transplanted? Doing this with my Girl Guides and want to give them care directions. Will they flower while still in the cup?

    • We’ve actually had many flower right in the cup! For that to happen you’ll want the flower to be a smaller flower rather than a larger one that needs more space to grow. We had them in our classroom for about a month, and then many of the kids took them home and planted them in their yards.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Does it matter what time of year the bulb is planted?


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