One of the great joys in my life is spending time in the garden, sowing seeds and dreaming about the plants I will have.
And its not just me, as soon as the days start to lengthen my kids cant wait to get growing and each year they love to grow everything from pumpkins to sunflowers which is fantastic ( but fills my little greenhouse with lots of little pots)
But instead of filling my small greenhouse with dozens of plastic pots I found this idea over on RainOrShinemamma.com and I love it. It recycles some egg cartons while saving me space for other seeds.
Other posts to look at include,
TO TRY THIS SEED STARTING ACTIVITY FOR KIDS
YOU WILL NEED
• Enough compost to fill your egg cartons.
• Some Egg cartons
• Seed packets or seed catalogues
• A tray or dish
How to make it.
- To begin with, decide what seeds you’d like to grow and buy or collect your seeds. You can also regrow some saved seeds from your kitchen scraps. Find some ideas in this post on how to grow a beautiful garden for free.
- Take your seed packets and cut out the pictures of your plants. You can also use seed catalogues or print out pictures to use. You need one for each type of seed you will grow.
- Get the kids to fill the egg cartons with potting soil. Its easier to use a spoon for this.
- Glue the pictures representing each seed on the inside of the lid of the egg carton in the corresponding place in the tray. You could number the segments the number the pictures in the list if that’s easier too.
- Put the egg cartons on your tray, water them and place on a sunny windowsill.
- Wait for your seeds to germinate.
In around a week to 10 days depending on your chosen seeds, you should see green shoots appearing.
When these have grown 2 sets of leaves you can remove this segment of the egg carton and plant the whole thing into a larger pot to grow on.
But how do seeds germinate? And what is germination??
In basic terms, seed starting or germination, is when a seed begins to sprout and begin to grow.
What are the 5 steps of germination?
After you’ve sown your seeds and watered them in what happens next?
• Firstly, water swells the seed.
• The water activates the chemicals inside the seed and encourages the plant into growth.
• The seed then grows a root so the seed can gain food and water from the soil.
• Then the seed grows a shoot that will reach to the sun for light and heat.
• The shoot then grows leaves so it can absorb light and begin photosynthesis.
This is a fantastic easy activity for your kids to experiment with the seeds they want to grow, most seeds grow 2 seed leaves that all look the same but the second pair start to look like their future self.
If you’d like to explore more into seed germination. Try this seed starting activity for kids:
You will need:
•A glass jar
•Lots of paper towels
•Some fresh water
•some seeds, we used broad beans and peas.
Good seeds for this are beans, peas, pumpkin, courgette, or even flower seeds like calendula, nasturtiums. Try to use larger seeds so children can see them grow.
- Pushed scrunched up sheets of paper towels, into your glass jar.
- Once its full, add some water to wet it (pour out any excess).
- Top up with more paper towels so its crammed full so the seeds stay in place.
- Pick your seeds and push one each down the side of the glass jar and supported them with the wet paper towel when pulling our fingers out.
Finally, Iabel each seed with a permanent marker on the outside so we can make observations.
There is so much learning around this project. You could look at measuring sprouts, or comparing colours. What grows the quickest or the longest. Its a great activity for helping kids understand what goes on under the soil.
This activity is a great way to bring the outdoors inside, especially on horrible wet days and help get your kids excited for getting out in the garden.
What’s your favourite seeds to grow?