Growing cress is a great way to introduce young children to planting. It usually only takes a week for the cress to fully grow so the results are much faster than growing flowers and vegetables. The seeds germinate in just a couple of days so you can observe the changes on a daily basis with your child. It's also interesting to see how the cress grows towards the light and you can move them around to demonstrate this.
Egg shell cress head
Creating a cress head makes it even more fun. My toddler is probably less patient than most and inspected his cress head every time he passed it until his comments were 'do waiting'. The googly eyes were a bit skewed by the time the hair had grown from so much touching.
Time: 10 minutes
Age: Under 5's
Small container (yoghurt pot or empty egg shell)
Googly eyes or felt tip pen
Stick googly eyes on to your pot or draw with a pen.
Fill your empty yoghurt pot or egg shell with cotton wool.
Leave some space at the top so the seeds don't fall out.
Pour in a little water until the the cotton wool is damp but not swimming in water.
My son was proud of his cress head before the cress had even grown
Sprinkle the cress seeds over the cotton wool.
Careful the cress seeds are so small they can go everywhere
Now a lesson in patience
Leave your cress head in a warm, sunny position and wait for the hair to grow. If you're using an empty egg shell then the egg box is an ideal stand.
These examples are very simple but you could really dress them up with older children. Decorate a toilet roll as a body for the egg shell cress head or stick tissue paper to your yoghurt pot.
I used to absolutely love these things as a kid. They used to sell the stocking type ones that grew grass in the convenience store at the bottom of my apartment building. I always used to save up my money to get one.
I don't think I ever actually made one myself. But it's amazing how something so simple can be so cool when you're a kid. :)