Growing Green Grass

Children will explore the idea of reusing and repurposing by reusing hosiery to plant grass seed

Lesson Objective

Children will reuse hosiery as a way of contributing to the health of the environment.


What You'll Need

  • Old pantyhose or knee highs, any color – 1 per child
  • Grass seed – 1 tablespoon per child
  • Potting soil – 2 cups per child
  • Measuring spoon – 1 tablespoon
  • Small shovels – 1 per child
  • Plastic containers such as butter tubs – one per child
  • Newspaper
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Permanent marker

What To Do

Note: The grass will sprout in about 2 weeks.
  1. Begin a discussion with the children about the 3 Rs and becoming environmentally friendly (see Did You Know?).
  2. Cut the pantyhose at the knee and give one leg to each child, or give each child one of the knee-high hosiery.
  3. Cover the work surface with newspaper.
  4. Have each child measure 1 tablespoon of grass seed and pour it into the toe section of the nylon.
  5. Have each child shovel about two cups of soil into the nylon. They should work the soil down to the foot of the nylon and shape it into a ball.
  6. Help each child tie a knot at the top of their hosiery. Cut off the excess nylon, leaving about 2 inches dangling.
  7. Give each child a small plastic container labeled with his or her name. The grass ball should be placed so that it rests in the container with the knotted side down and the toe portion with the grass seed in it facing upward. The ball shape should have one part resting in the container and the other part should be sticking out of the container.
  8. Have the children carefully water the seeds with the spray bottle until the soil is thoroughly moist but not soaked.
  9. Check daily to make sure the soil stays moist. If the seeds seem to dry out too quickly, you can place a few inches of water in the container under the nylon ball.

Guiding Student Inquiry

  • What does the grass need to grow?
  • What are stockings usually used for?
  • Describe how the hosiery is used in this activity.
  • Describe the hosiery. What does it look like?
  • Explain what it is about the nylon that allows the grass to grow.

Explore, Extend & Integrate

  • Help the children create “journals” where they can draw daily observations as their grass grows.
  • Discuss how the nylon material allows the water to soak through yet keeps the soil inside.
  • After the grass grows and sprouts from the pantyhose, cut the hosiery open and examine the different parts of the grass, including the roots. Ask the children, “Where are the seeds?”
  • Collect seeds throughout the week during snack, lunch, etc. Encourage the children to compare these seeds to the grass seeds. Place all of the seeds in the science or discovery center. Supply the children with a magnifying glass to explore the details of the individual seeds.

Check for Children’s Understanding

  • Do the children understand the difference between recycle and reuse?
  • Was each child able to understand that they had reused the hosiery by using it for a different purpose?
  • Did the children develop an understanding that plants help the environment?


Did You Know?

The 3 Rs — reduce, reuse, and recycle — are key elements in becoming more environmentally friendly. Many items can be put through a recycling process to be used again, and many items can be reused as they are for different purposes. Today in class the children reused pantyhose to hold the soil to plant grass seed.

Grass is a plant that is beneficial for the environment, for people, and for animals. Grass functions as an air cleaner because it filters pollutants out of the air. Grass reduces noise pollution by absorbing sounds in the environment. Grass provides a habitat for many insects and animals. Grass also provides safety. Many parks, playing fields, and playgrounds are covered with grass. The grass acts as a protective cushion for the people using the area.

Vocabulary: Child-Friendly Definitions

  • nylon pantyhose/stockings/hosiery – a sheer stretchy fabric that is a close-fitting piece of clothing worn over the feet, legs, and/or lower body.
  • environment – the natural world (like air, water, and soil) that surrounds people and animals.
  • grass – a green plant with thin, pointed leaves often seen in lawns and meadows.
  • recycle – to put things through a process that allows them to be used again.
  • reuse – to use something again or use it more than one time.
  • germinate – to sprout or to cause to grow.

Lesson Tips

  • Make sure that you have enough space in the classroom to display the project when the children are done. If you do not have a lot of room, have the children work in pairs or small groups to create the project.
  • Once the grass seeds sprout, they will need to be in a sunny area.


  • In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
  • Stanley Mows the Lawn by Craig Frazier
  • Mrs. Morgan’s Lawn by Barney Saltzberg

Home School Resources

Home educators: use these printable lesson PDFs to teach this lesson to your home schoolers. They're available in English and Spanish.

Home/School Connections

Las Conexiones a la Casa

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Content Provided By

Common Core State Standards Initiative – These lessons are aligned with the Common Core State Standards ("CCSS"). The CCSS provide a consistent, clear understanding of the concepts and skills children are expected to learn and guide teachers to provide their students with opportunities to gain these important skills and foundational knowledge [1]. Visit the CCSS