Preschool 2 is continuing to learn more about the Persian New Year, Nowruz or Nowrooz. It is usually celebrated on the first day of spring and lasts for about 13 days! It has many traditions and symbols that centre around growth, rejuvenation, and new life. Each year , Nafiseh our Lead Educator teaches her students in PS2 about Nowruz by planting and displaying sabzeh – lentil or wheatgrass sprouts. This week, we’re sharing how to grow wheatgrass in your own home! Our P2's made their own personal ones to share with their families.
What We’re Learning & Skills We’re Building
Plant biology – learning about seeds and watching them sprout into plants
Fine motor skills – developing small muscles in the hands for holding utensils
Cause and effect – understanding that water and light cause seeds to sprout and plants to grow
Appreciation of cultural traditions – learning about the different ways people celebrate spring and the New Year
How to Grow Wheatgrass
Whole wheat berries (can be found in bulk sections of natural food stores)
1 quart (or larger) bowl or other container for soaking wheat berries
Small shovel/trowel or measuring cup for scooping wheat berries and soil
Tray, dish, or planter pot(s) (3” or deeper is ideal)
Newspaper, paper towel, or dish towel
Child-safe scissors for harvesting
Prepping the Wheat Berries
1. Thoroughly clean the bowl or other container and fill it with cool water. Have your child use a small shovel/trowel or a measuring cup to scoop up 1 to 2 cups of wheat berries and pour them into the water. Wheat berries will expand by at least a half-cup after soaking in water.
2. Soak the wheat berries in the water for at least 12 hours (a full 24-48 hours of soaking is best). Ask, “What soaks wheat berries outside in nature?” (Answer: rain.) Soaking helps seeds sprout!
3. Drain the water using a mesh strainer. Observe the seeds closely. Ask, “Have they started to sprout?” Freshly sprouted seeds will have tiny white “tails” emerging from one end.
Planting and Growing
(Note: Wheatgrass for Nowruz is often grown in a decorative dish without soil. We’re growing ours in soil, but if you and your child don’t want to, skip steps 1 & 2 below.)
1. Immediately after draining the seeds, your child can help you fill a tray, dish, or planter pot(s) with soil using a trowel or a measuring cup. Fill it so that there’s at least a 2-inch layer of soil.
2. Have your child spray the soil with water so that it’s moist but not soaking.
3. Help your child sprinkle an even layer of wet seeds onto the tray or dish, or into the planter pot(s) (if you’re using soil, sprinkle it over the top of the seeds).
4. Cover the wet seeds with newspaper, a large paper towel, or a dish towel. Your child can give a misting over the top of the cover. Wheatgrass sprouts best in dark, moist environments.
5. Place the container in indirect sunlight either indoors or, if it’s warm, outside.
. The next day, uncover the container and mist the seeds, then cover them again. If you can, check the moisture level of the soil and seeds a few times each day. Your child can give them a light misting, if necessary.
7. Repeat this step every day until green sprouts start to emerge. Your seeds are growing! Once the green sprouts have fully emerged, stop covering the container.
8. Watch as beautiful green blades of wheatgrass keep growing in height every day!
Observations: Talk with your child about the changing seeds and wheatgrass (color, height, roots, etc). Use a ruler to measure the height of the wheatgrass every day. If you’re using a clear dish, you might be able to see long white roots growing down through the soil!
Once the wheatgrass is about 8″ tall (usually around the 7th to 9th day of growing), it’s ready to harvest. Using child-safe scissors, show your child how to cut the grass about ½” above the surface of the soil.
You can both try chewing on the wheatgrass, or you can blend it into a juice!
A second round of wheatgrass will regrow in about a week with daily misting.