a peek inside the fishbowl

09 Jul, 2014

One to grow on

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Easy ways to make kids happy|Home/reno|Recipes and Food

Everyone already knows that if you have little kids at home and you’re looking for an activity that might inspire healthy eating and a green thumb, the answer might lie in planting a garden. Green beans are a good thing to plant because they grow so fast.

I planted some bean seeds on a whim, right next to a part of the fence which receives a bit of extra sunshine in the morning. They’re climbing up a metal trellis we’ve had for awhile.

A couple weeks ago it occurred to me that it’d be fun to track their growth,  so every morning I’ve been dutifully putting a chalk mark on the trellis, right next to the top of each plant as it winds its way up towards to the sun.

I knew beans grew fast, but I didn’t think they grew THAT fast. Sometimes the vines grow over six inches in the span of 12-15 hours. It’s been neat to mark the progress.

Green bean growing!

Growing beans

It is a sweet activity to do with kids, and there’s so much to learn here. If you want to take this activity up a notch you can also:

  • Measure the space between the chalk marks every day with a ruler and track it in a journal together
  • Revisit Biology 101 and talk about why plants need the sun to grow
  • Harvest the beans and make something delicious out of them. (Personally I think they’d enjoy eating them right off the vine.)

1 Response to "One to grow on"

1 | Been there.

July 9th, 2014 at 4:48 pm


That’s awesome. I’ve always wanted to do that, to see how fast beans or squash/pumpkins grow.
Some excellent beans to grow for kids are Scarlet Runner Beans. They grow really well and fast and will completely fill a trellis. Both the red flowers and beans are edible. Send the kids out to the bush to get a snack. Medium sized beans are crisp (snappy) and sweet. Kids love them right off the plant. Also delish sauteed in olive oil or butter.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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