Make & Take Activity – Cornhusker Necklace

Grow your own seed in a necklace!

Garner Interest

  1. Ask youth the following series of questions to lead a discussion on basic needs:
    • “What do you need to survive?”
      • Food, water, space. and air.
    • “What does a plant need to grow?”
      • Soil, sunlight, space, and water.
  2. Guide youth to the understanding that plants and humans have similar basic needs. Just like humans, plants need food, water, space, and air to grow, but that the care of these needs are given in different ways. Soil provides a plant with the nutrients (food) and the space it needs to grow, rainfall or someone watering the plants provides water, and sunlight provides the energy (more food) for plants to grow.
  3. Continue to lead a discussion and ask youth,
    • “Who grows corn?”
      • Farmers
    • “When is corn planted?”
      • In the spring
  4. Corn is a crop that Nebraska farmers grow. Explain to youth they will become a farmer for the day as they plant their own corn seed to understand the basic needs of plants and the work farmers in Nebraska do to provide us with food, fiber, and fuel.

Conduct Activity

  1. Give each youth a piece of yarn, one corn seed, and one cotton ball.
  2. Have youth take their cotton ball, dunk it in the water, and then squeeze the water out.
  3. Put cotton ball into plastic bag.
  4. Put the corn seed in the plastic bag and seal it.
  5. It takes two to three days for the seed to germinate; after five days, the seed will be too big for the bag and the students will need to plant the seed in a pot or in the soil. The seed musk be kept warm for it to grow. They will never need to add more water to the bag. After it is transplanted into a pot, make sure it’s watered.
  6. Have youth tuck the necklace into their shirts to keep the seed extra warm.

Make a Connection to Agriculture

People need corn to feed animals and humans! The main type of corn that is planted in Nebraska is field corn. The main use of this corn is to feed livestock or produce ethanol. Farmers strive to be good stewards of the land to wisely produce many of our daily needs such as food, fiber, and fuel. Understanding how plants work also allows farmers to do their best in producing corn to us. Farmers are planting experts. They know the best time to plant crops, how to keep them healthy, and how to keep pests and weeds out of the fields.


  • Clear, mini sealable bag with a hole punched in top
  • Red Yarn, (necklace length)
  • Cotton ball
  • Corn seed
  • Cup of water


Make necklaces ahead of your event. String yarn through the hole in the bag to create a necklace.

Be sure to have participants squeeze all of the water from the cotton ball before placing in the bag. Too much water will cause the seed to not grow!