Try these kid friendly earth day crafts and celebrate the joy of growing wildflowers to encourage pollinators. Your kids (and you) will love watching butterflies, bees and even ladybugs as they pollenate your flowers and vegetable garden.
Celebrate Earth Day with easy seeds for kids to grow without any effort by making seed bombs or planting tape!
Outside activities for kids that grab their attention (and hold it) come to you in the form of mud, seeds and memories that are great for outdoor fun beyond Earth Day. Don’t wait to show kids the fun of planting a garden with seed balls that are shot with a slingshot, thrown around in an epic battle, or gently placed in a circle for the clubhouse teepee.
Inspire children with outdoor activities that even toddlers and kindergarteners will benefit from crafting. Not to mention a great way to use up that stack of junk mail by recycling paper at home.
In this article we will cover:
- How to gather seeds for a free stockpile
- Supplies list and free options
- How to make a flower seed bomb with paper
- How to make seed balls with wildflower seeds
- How to make seed paper
- How to make vegetable seed tape
Let’s get this kid friendly outdoor craft party started to bust boredom and reduce screen time!
Earth day is a wonderful way to show off your eco-friendly support by thinking about ways to improve our natural resources. The most popular Earth Day to-do activity is to plant a tree, but there are so many other ways to go green!
In this article you will get craft ideas with supplies laying around you house, so there is not need to make a special trip.
Want a way for kids to get introduced to planting seeds but are worried about keeping their attention? I know little girls tend to be open to the idea, but boys are naturally programmed to hulk-smash everything…right? Well seed bombs are a great way to meet in the middle. Girls will love the crafting side, and the boys will love throwing the flower seed bombs and watching them explode.
Get trendy and use those hot cocoa bomb molds again to make seed bombs without clay
You know the trend of hot chocolate bombs? I didn’t get a chance to jump on that bandwagon but I got some silicone spheres recently and decided to make seed bombs! Better late than never, eh?
Try using newspaper, paper clutter, junk mail or some of this kids drawing to upcycle into seed bombs!
Where to get free seeds for your flower or vegetable garden
For most, gardening is a nessecity because it’s budget friendly in the long term sense. But upfront costs can be daunting when you need a raised bed, garden soil, seeds or transplants. Just to name a few. But before you go any further, here are some cheap or free ways to get garden seeds.
Here’s a few companies on a mission to encourage garden pollinators with a free seed packs. Get your free seed pack and plant a bee friendly garden.
- Cheerios Bring Back the Bees free seed packet
- Free Seed Project from Rob Greenfield
- ALTUS for free seeds that encourage pollinators
Look in your fridge for free seeds
Yup, most of the vegetables in your fridge can (intjeroy) be regrown from seeds! During the growing process pesticides or gmo aspects can prevent seeds from being fertile, but for the most part you can regrow vegetables from kitchen scraps. What makes me think you can do this? Well, if you have ever thrown a pumpkin into the compost pile, you will know they love to sprout and grow!
Try gathering your own seeds from produce you’ve already bought
If you take a few moments to think about the resources you are buying the produce department, odds are you have thought about all the waste too. So instead of tossing out the seeds while prepping your veggie trey, scrap them onto a paper towel to dry and plant.
Opt for heirloom or organic veggies like tomatoes or peppers and you will increase the chances of your seed germination! Remember to always select and collect from healthy sources, don’t plant seeds from rotting tomatoes since the plant will be more likely to be sickly. Instead gather seeds from when you first get home before putting the produce in the fridge. The colder temperatures can make the seeds sleepy and require more effort to emerge.
Be a food recycler and save your own seeds you already bought during your grocery store trip with the below fresh produce:
- Sweet peppers like green, red, orange or yellow peppers
- Hot peppers like cayenne or jalapeno
- Tomatoes – any but cherry, roma and heirloom are good starts
- Watermelon – by choosing seeded you can grow your own watermelon all summer
- Yellow squash
Cheap garden seeds like the Dollar Tree, Dollar General or hardware store.
If you do want to purchase seeds in a budget friendly manner you can certainly do so at the Dollar Tree or Dollar General. Their seed selection includes container friendly, heirloom and flowers that are often on sale for 4/$1! You can’t beat that!
Or try SeedsNow for a wide selection and flat rate shipping! Click the image to for the link to their webpage to get your seeds!
Supplies to make a seed bomb that are laying around the house.
What type of paper do use: making seed balls doesn’t require extra craft supplies, unless you opt to use clay powder. A simple gathering of any paper clutter, junk mail, newspaper or even those many homework pages from your kids school folder are fantastic (and borderline genius) upcycling opportunities. Tell your kids their artwork will give a soft bed/home for seeds that will eventually grow into flowers that feed pollinators. Those pollinators help our food grow, which in turn feeds us! It’s a full circle kinda life lesson!
Choosing the right container or mold to make your little seed pods is not restricted to silicone. You can use any old muffin tin, hot cocoa bomb mold, even resin molds! But don’t stop there, here are some general household items to reuse for crafts:
- Muffin tin
- Plastic cups
- Plastic Easter eggs
- Bath bomb shells
- Sheet pan
- Cookie cutters
- Jell-O molds
So we covered seeds and paper- what else is there? Well if you want to get fancy and promote a stronger growing bed for your tiny seeds, you can add powdered clay. This will keep the bombs from turning to moosh and just washing the seeds away. You wouldn’t want all your work of forming and drying to go to waste when you go to lpick it up, only to have it disintegrate in your hands. Adding clay is like adding glue, it’s a natural binding agent.
Give seeds a boost with compost. Want to take your wildflower seed bomb to the next level? Add compost in the mixture and give seeds the nutrients needed as they grow. Which gives them the best possible start to their journey.
Finally, let’s cover how to make seed bombs with paper
Get ready by gathering all your supplies
- Food coloring (optional)
- Shred paper or have the kids rip or cut into small pieces. This is a super fun step for kids since they actually get to rip something on purpose. So make it fun for them!
- In a warm cup of water add about 1 tablespoon of glue. Stir until dissolved.
- Dip paper strips in water. Place strips in hot cocoa bomb mold. I used approximately 5 strips.
- Add 1 tablespoon of seeds to the center of the mold.
- Fold down side and seal with water/glue mixture.
How to plant and use seed bombs
This is really open for your imagination to any kind of backyard activities for kids that leave them thinking you are the coolest big person ever. Tell kids to load their slingshots and set up obstacles for them to knock over with their “ammo”. Get them pumped up with a better version of dodge ball by telling them its time for a dirt fight they don’t have to clean up after!
Be creative in how your present the planting, little boys especially love anything that is explosive or messy, so keep that in mind.
Go beyond the kid friendly version, and pass out DIY wedding favor seed bombs for guests to take home. Tie in your floral theme by giving guests sunflowers, asylum or daisies seeds to take home and plant to honor the beginning of something beautiful.
If you need more ideas with outdoor fun for kids try my summer activities pack! Its loaded with printable so kids can go on a nature scavenger hunt, make a paper garden or do a garden theme memory match. Print off coloring pages, decorate your own beetle page, learn plant identification and sorting colors. Just to name a few!
Here’s the link to get your copy: Printable Gardening with Kids Activity Pack
How to make seed paper for gift giving or just so your wildflower seeds don’t wash away
You can do the same concept as steps 1-5 for making a seed bomb, but instead of shaping mixture into a ball or muffin tin, you spread the goo out thin on a baking sheet. Using the bottom of a cup to press down to make sure the paper is nice and even. Let dry and when the paper is no longer wet, you can cut or rip your seed paper to make tags, cards or just paper to plant.
How to make vegetable planting tape for carrots, lettuce or beets easier to grow
If you are a seasoned Gardener you know how hard it is to keep your seeds from washing away. If you are OCD you understand this frustration because you meticulously planned out, measured and carefully placed each seed into its straight line only for rows to become crooked during the watering process. You can avoid all of those gardening mistakes by using seed tape. Here you will find three different methods to make your own seed paper to avoid seeds running off and becoming crooked rows. No need to buy any fancy gadgets instead some plain old toilet paper or paper towels work just great. Or you can use the seed paper idea as mentioned above.
Toilet paper seed tape
As the name implies, the only supplies needed are seeds and toilet paper.
- Unroll toilet paper the length of your planting area or rip off a square for the seed you are trying to plant.
- Dig a trench or home as you normally would.
- Place the dry toilet paper within the trench or the hole and water lightly.
- Place seed on gardening tape according to package spacing. You’ll notice it’s so much easier to see the little seeds like carrots or beets against the white paper instead of looking hard for them within the dark soil.
- Once seeds are places, cover with dirt and water.
This works because as the paper decomposes the seeds will grow their root system making it easier for the tender roots to grab hold of the paper. Seed won’t wash away as easy for the first few days since the paper is thick, making it perfect to give the garden a good soaking .
Paper towel/newspaper seed tape
If you are gardening on a budget this is a great hack because you can start seeds in napkins and skip the soil. Once seeds have sprouted, transplanting is much easier on tender roots. Using the same or similar method as with the toilet paper. Only paper towels can be cut into strips and folded in half to completely in case your seeds.
Do you remember in elementary school when your teacher had you get a mason jar and plant bean seed in a napkin under your kitchen sink? This is the same concept for your garden. The biggest difference though is you are keeping your seed from washing away with Summer downpours.
Vegetable seed paper using the same concept as flower seed paper.
If you’ve ever tried to plant your vegetable seeds especially the small ones like carrots or beets then you probably noticed it’s hard to get spacing correct. The seeds are dark as the soil which makes it hard to maintain proper spacing. Often resulting in over planting, having to thin out seeds and disrupting root systems. This is especially detrimental for a root crop such as carrots and beets. So instead of repeating the same process every year try using vegetable seed tape by implementing the same concepts as mentioned before but in the garden.
Planting vegetable seeds in small spaces can still use the seed tape method to help reduce seeds washing away. This is especially helpful if you are using container garden for your porch to grow your vegetables because seeds tend to run off with the hose or watering can splashing seeds around before they have rooted into place. Just downsized the paper to either seed holes or cover the entire surface of the container garden and plant from there and cover with a thin layer of soil.
Planting large garden vegetable seeds with seed tape
- Make seed holes or trench for planting seeds
- Using toilet paper, junk mail or paper towels, place thin layer in the trench.
- Dark seeds will stand out against the light colored paper, making spacing much easier. As a standard, toilet paper sheets are 4 inches. So you can use the squares as sections to have accurate seed spacing.
- Cover seeds and tape
- Water and usually.
Once you have planted your large rows or mass planting with seed tape you can proceed as normal. Watering schedule will need to be consistent to ensure seedlings are given a steady supply of water to keep seeds moist as they emerge. Once seedling sprount and are around 3 inches tall you can begin mulching with compost, cardboard or other natural material. Mulching early reduced the chances of soil born disease splashing up on tender leaves.
In the end, getting your little ones outside to celebrate nature by planting seeds is the best feeling. Whether you are planting a tree, making a seed ball or just soaking in the sun. Let nature inspire you.
Here’s an article on improving your soil