A pinto bean germination experiment will show children how seeds germinate. Germinating the pinto bean indoors not only allows you to monitor the bean while it sprouts, but you can also set up different controls for the experiment to see which conditions work best for growing the pinto bean sprout. Once you finish germinating the beans, plant them outdoors so that you will have your own pinto beans to harvest in the garden.
Let the child pick out the pinto beans that he wishes to plant. Select three or four pinto beans for the experiment.
Place the selected pinto beans in a bowl. Fill the bowl with water to cover the seeds, and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.
Pour the water into a colander to drain the pinto beans. Dampen a paper towel with water. Instruct your child to place the pinto beans on the paper towel with tweezers to prevent contaminating them.
Fold the paper towel in half over the pinto beans. Place the folded and damp paper towel inside a plastic bag. Leave the plastic bag open to allow for air circulation.
Store the bag in a warm location away from direct sunlight, such as the kitchen counter. Tell the child to check on the pinto bean daily to see if she notices anything different. Continue to water the paper towels to keep them damp, but avoid over-watering them.
Remove the pinto bean sprout from the bag with tongs once it has one set of true leaves. Fill 3-inch pots with soil. Plant one pinto bean 1/4 inch deep in the 3-inch pots. Cover the roots of the seedling carefully and pack the soil down around the plant.
Place the seedling in a south-facing window where it will receive sunlight. Tell the child to water to pinto bean plant when the soil feels dry. This will keep the soil moist so that the pinto bean will continue to grow.
Transplant the seedling outdoors once it reaches 3 inches in height. Space the bean seedlings 15 inches apart at the same depth as the growing pot.
Remove any beans that grow fungus to prevent contaminating the other seeds.