By Sheila Wathen /
Kids love the magic of seeds. Take a small, round seed, put in a pot, give it light and water and it turns into something completely different—a flower, a plant, even food! It sure sounds like magic, doesn’t it?
Why not take some time to plant something this week? It might do your soul good to feel the dirt and see something green appear. You can even claim it as a successful form of therapy, as scientists have found that exposure to micro-organisms in dirt can improve our mood.
Here are some great ideas for playing in the dirt. Please add your own ideas in the comments!
1) Make your own Chia Pet – Take an old nylon stocking or cut off a leg from an old pair of tights. Fill the bottom ‘toe’ area with 2-3 spoons full of grass seed, then fill the rest of it with potting soil or starter mix until you have a head shape. You can add a nose or googly eyes if you wish. Spray the head with water (you want it damp but not soaking!) and place in an old cup or plastic container. Water gently each day for several days and you will eventually see a head full of grass hair grow. Kids can even trim the hair periodically. Great instructions here at Red Ted Art Blog.
A variation of this is to use a full leg from a pair of tights or hose, and make a caterpillar, shown here as also featured on the Red Ted Art Blog. Use pipe cleaners for antenna (and perhaps keep it on a tray or something water-proof like tinfoil).
2) Start some flowers or vegetables for your garden – Have the kids help pick out flowers and veggies to grow. Start with 2-3 seeds in small starter containers, or use cardboard egg cartons or paper cups. Show kids the variety of color, shape and size of seeds and see if they can start to tell them apart as they grow.
3) Start an herb garden in your kitchen window – I *love* cooking with herbs, and having fresh ones available is a great way to add lots of flavor to your food. Find a suitable set of small pots, or again just use what you have around the house—jars, tin cans, old plastic food containers, pop bottles, you can even use an over-the-door pocket shoe holder! Place in a sunny window, or if that’s hard to find, use a grow light.
What seed projects have you done with kids?
Sheila Wathen is a wife and mom and works as a teacher, webmaster & technology consultant. For fun she sings in her church choir, does yoga and researches her family history. She loves to help people discover new ways to use and understand technology. Originally from Minnesota, she lived in Ohio and Pennsylvania before settling in Lenawee County in 1999.by