Make wildflower seed balls

Give back to Mother Earth with these easy-to-make seed bombs. Blend together used scraps of construction paper, water, and wildflower seeds in a food processor, then form into shapes. Let dry and then toss in the ground. As the seed bombs receive sun and rain, the paper will eventually compost and the seeds will germinate.

Note: Photo is just a representation.

Materials for Making Seed Balls

  • Old paper (worksheets, newspaper, junk mail etc.)
  • Seeds
  • Bucket or plastic bin for soaking paper
  • Blender or food processor
  • A few bowls or containers
  • Strainer or colander
  • Optional: Paper shredder
  • Optional: Cookie cutters if you want to make your seed balls into shapes (We used this airplane cookie cutter, but you could also use hearts or any other shape. Remember: Cookie cutters are optional. You can just make balls with your hands.

Directions for Making Seed Balls

  1.  Gather up paper you want to reuse to make your seed balls. You can use things like old newspaper, old worksheets from school, junk mail, paper towels, etc.
  2. Tear up your paper into small pieces and place them into a large bin, the smaller the pieces, the better. You can also use a paper shredder if you have one rather than tearing the paper.
  3. After you’ve placed all your torn paper into a large container, fill it with water to soak. We put just enough water in to cover all the paper and mixed it around with our hands.
  4. Place the torn paper in a blender. Be sure to use an old, cheap or used blender, as blending lots of paper can take its toll on your machine. Fill your blender about 1/3 of the way full. Then fill the blender with water- about 1-2 inches above the paper.

WARNING: Never let a child use a blender unless heavily supervised by an adult. An adult should be present at all times or do the blending on their own while the children observe.

  1. Blend until you have mushy pulp, somewhat like the consistency of oatmeal. The more it is blended, the better it will hold together.
  2. Place a colander inside a bowl. Pour your pulp mixture into the colander to drain some of the water. Continue with steps 4-5 until you have blended all your soaked paper. Now you have a giant batch of mushy, wet pulp sitting in a colander! Slosh it around in the colander with your hand, getting out the extra water.
  3. Pour the contents from the colander into a separate bowl. Don’t squeeze all the water out. You’ll want it to be wetter than you think. It helps to keep it from falling apart when making your shapes.
  4. Now it’s time to add your seeds. You can add any seeds you’d like. Pour the seeds into your pulp. Knead and mix them into the pulp with your hands.
  5. If you’re just making seed balls (or pancakes) rather than shapes, grab a small handful of the mixture, squeeze out as much water as you can, and roll it into a firm ball. (Making balls or pancakes is much easier for younger children.) Squish it like a pancake. (It’ll dry faster.) Place the seed balls on a drying rack or stack of newspaper to dry.

If you’ll be making your seed balls into shapes, place some of the mixture into cookie cutters. Press the pulp firmly and use paper towels to remove any excess water. (Be sure to save the paper towels for your next batch of seed balls!) Carefully remove them from the cookie cutters and place them on a drying rack or stack of newspaper to dry. If any part breaks off, you can mold it back in place kind of like play dough.

Depending on the size of your seed balls, they can take up to 3 days to completely dry.  Placing them in the sun on a hot day will speed up the process!

  1. After your seed balls or seed shapes are dry, they’re ready to be planted or given as a gift to a loved one.

Tips

  • You can add color to your seed balls by either using colored paper or adding food coloring to your mixture.
  • Smaller children might find it easier to just make shapes with less intricate spaces, like using a heart or cloud cookie cutter.  Or even just making random balls and pancake shapes.

Make Earth Crayons

Step One:

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Peel the wrapper off of blue, white and green crayons.

Step Two:

Break or cut the crayons into small pieces.

Start by putting a few white pieces in the bottom of a muffin tin. Top the white pieces with the green and blue pieces.

The more crayon pieces you add, the thicker they crayons will be.

Step Three:

Bake them at 250°F for 15-20 minutes, until the crayons are melted.

Carefully remove the muffin tin from the oven without mixing the colors. Allow the crayons to cool on the counter and then put them in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Remove the crayons from the fridge, turn the muffin tin upside down and give it a smack on the counter to pop the crayons out. They are ready to use.

 

Earth Day Jello

Make blue and green jello in separate containers, according to the directions on the box. When jelled, scoop into clear glass and mix together!

Photo credit: Tales of the Scotts

Mr. Recycle Head Man 

Create your own one-of-a-kind Mr. Potato Head using recycled products. Items you’ll need include tin cans, felt scraps and scrap paper.  You can even plant something in the can to grow into his hair!

Photo Credit: Deliacreates.com

Read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss’s beloved story teaches kids to speak up and stand up for those who can’t. With a recycling-friendly “Go Green” message, The Lorax allows young readers to experience the beauty of the Truffula Trees and the danger of taking our earth for granted, all in a story that is timely, playful, and hopeful. The book’s final pages teach us that just one small seed, or one small child, can make a difference.

Parent Magazine