Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Growing a Plant

Learning about plants by growing a sweet potato vine

Month 3 · Activity 23 · Nature/Science  


  • You will need a small/medium size sweet potato, a glass jar to hold the sweet potato, four or five toothpicks
  • Fill the jar with water so the bottom of the potato is in the water
  • Insert the toothpicks to hold the sweet potato a few inches from the bottom of glass jar but submerged in the water
  • Place the potato jar in a sunny spot
  • Let child check the water level and add water when needed every day
  • Look for roots on the bottom of the potato
  • In one or two weeks leaves should be sprouting from the top
  • Continue to water as the vines grow
  • Review vocabulary of plant, roots, vines, and leaves
  • Optional: transplant into a pot


Share some sweet potatoes facts:  Sweet potatoes are healthy as they are high in beta carotene, vitamins E, B-6 and C, potassium, and fiber.  Have fun tasting a sweet potato - they can be baked, steamed, boiled, microwaved, fried, juiced, pureed, or eaten raw.  Our first president, George Washington, grew sweet potatoes on his farm in Mount Vernon, Virginia.


How long do you think it will take for the sweet potato to grow? Let's keep track and compare it to your estimate.

Can you tell me the name of your favorite flower and plant? Why do you like it?

What do plants need to grow?


  • small/medium size sweet potato
  • a glass jar to hold the sweet potato
  • four or five toothpicks 
  • water
  • light
  • Language Skills
  • Math & Science Skills