We are always looking for fun Earth Day activities to do with our kids and sharing our great gardening tips. As our kids get older, it isn’t quite as easy to find activities they are interested in doing. But, making seed bombs for Earth Day has been so much fun.
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You know I love finding inspiration in a good book and that’s exactly where the idea for making seed bombs came from. I was sure that we could find a cool science book and activity that my kids would love. When I first set eyes on the book A Seed is Sleepy by Diana Aston and Sylvia Long, I totally fell in love.
The book introduces readers to various seed types and how seeds grow. Sylvia Long’s illustrations are lovely – both technically accurate and whimsical. The book is a great balance of environmental science information and fun. After reading the book, we knew that we wanted to do something with seeds.
What is a seed bomb?
Enter…the creation of seed bombs. A seed bomb, or seed ball, is a ball of seeds mixed with something compostable which can be shaped into a ball. In our case, we chose to use paper but seed bombs can also be made with clay and soil. The seeds are encased in compostable paper or clay and can be thrown into the soil. As the rain falls, the paper composts away, and the seeds germinate and grow wherever the bomb is thrown.
Seed bombs are a popular part of guerrilla gardening – gardening in public spaces where gardens don’t already exist. Whether you use the bombs in your own garden, in a public space, or in a schoolyard making a seed bomb is a simple way to spread flowers and help bees and pollinators thrive.
What a perfect Earth Day activity!
How to Make Wildflower Seed Bombs
Begin by preparing the paper. We decided to use construction paper, but you could easily use newsprint or any paper you have on hand. We really wanted ours to look like the Earth for Earth Day. Rip the paper into smaller pieces and place the pieces in a bowl.
Now, add water to the bowl of paper. You will need to soak the paper pieces for at least 20 minutes. You are trying to soften the fibers, so the amount of time you need will depend on the weight of your paper. If you use heavier stock paper, let it soak longer.
Once the paper is thoroughly soaked, it is time to add it to the food processor (you could also use a blender). Add the paper and process until the paper is completely broken down.
And, now it’s time to make the seed bombs. We used a muffin tin to make our seed bombs, but you could totally use your bare hands to make a sphere.
Add a layer of the paper mash to the muffin tin. Then sprinkle in a layer of seeds.
Then top off the seeds with another layer of the paper mash. Be sure to press the paper firmly, to be sure that the fibers all stick together around the seeds inside.
Now, it is time to wait for the seed bombs to dry. Set them aside to dry for a few hours. Once the bombs were a little bit dry, we transferred ours to a baking rack to dry all the way through. We left them out overnight.
Once the seed bombs are dry, they are ready to take outside. It isn’t time to plant our seed bombs (there is still snow on the ground here). We placed our seed bombs in an air-tight container and stored them in a dry, dark spot until spring arrives.
We now have the perfect Earth Day activity. We will head out to our local ravine and toss a few seed bombs. We will also be sharing these seed bombs with our friends on Earth Day so that they can grow flowers that the bees, and other pollinators, will love in their home gardens.
What seeds should we use in our wildflower seed bombs?
When it comes to selecting the seeds you use, be sure to pick seeds that will grow where you are planning on throwing your bomb. It is a good idea to choose a variety of wildflowers. A variety of seeds means that at least some of the seeds should take hold and grow.
Be very careful that you aren’t choosing seeds that are not native to where you live. You don’t want to be responsible for introducing a non-native or invasive species into a public space.
When is the best time to plant seed bombs?
If you know that there is rain in the forecast, that is the best time to toss your seed bombs. You want them to land and then be activated by the rainfall. Seeds need water to grow, if you toss them in the midst of a drought they probably won’t grow.
Where will you toss your seed bombs?
Today’s post is part of the amazing Storybook Science series, hosted by Inspiration Laboratories.
Please be sure to head over and check out all of the amazing science books and activities that are being shared. You are sure to find something that will excite and educate your kids.
Other seedy posts…
Check out our Earth Day celebrations post for all kinds of great outdoor project ideas
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