Seed balls (previously known as seed bombs) are often used to seed plants in wild areas. First made popular by the “guerilla gardening movement in the 1970’s” they were used to grow beautiful and natural things in urban landscapes and neglected public spaces.
For young children, seed balls are a way for children to contribute to making the world greener and more vibrant. They teach children about the environment, sustainability and planting.
A novel take on traditional gardening, seed balls make growing flowers a little different!
- Scraps of paper
- A blender
- Cooking moulds, ice moulds or small containers
- A strainer
- A bowl
- Paper towels
- Seed mix
- Tear paper into small pieces
- Add water
- Everyone block your ears… And blend
- Scoop the wet, blended paper out and squash it into the strainer, squeezing as much excess water out as you can
- Add to a bowl and sprinkle seeds on top of the wet paper pulp
- Mix it through the paper until it is evenly dispersed
- Squash the paper and seed mix down into cooking/ice moulds or small containers
- Pat the top of each mould with a paper towel, drying up any excess water
- Leave the moulds in a warm spot to dry - this could take a few days so patience is required
- Once dry, pop the seed balls out of the moulds and find places for children to throw them
- Keep checking/observing for signs of life over the coming weeks and enjoy the glee children show when they start to see little flowers growing
- Encourage children to save scrap paper from your art area, or even collect some from home to bring into your centre
- Shredding paper is fun, shred it to music, shred it quietly, shred it noisily
- Encourage children to talk about the differences in how the wet paper feels - what can they notice, how does it feel?
- Ask children to share what type of seeds they would like to add to the mixture - research online
- Plan where children would like to disperse the seeds, do you have an unloved corner of your outdoor area that could do with a splash of color? Is there a local area with overgrown grass that could be beautified with some little spots of flowers?
- As a fundraising idea, the seed balls could be advertised for sale?
- Give children opportunities to check and decide when the seed balls are dry and ready
- Talk about what will help speed up the drying of the seed balls
- Consider bee balls - plants that attract bees
Possible learning outcomes
- Strengthen and develop find motor skills when shredding paper, and squeezing water out of the paper pulp
- Recycling and repurposing old resources
- The properties of paper - transforming materials
- Using rich and descriptive language
- How weather conditions and location are important for plant life
- A sense of community - beautifying your neighbourhood and developing an awareness of local area
- Early scientific concepts - growing seeds
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