As teachers, it’s always tough to find time to work on a lesson plan AND make time with our loved ones. This week was all about making moments count with my little Nugget, so I decided to combine family time and lesson planning by putting our little seed bomb project, A Barrage of Blooms, to the test with my wee one. We gathered up some household supplies, a stack of leftover cardstock from a Getting Nerdy summer marketing venture, and headed outside to start some messy fun. You can see the Mini-Mel in her princess pajamas.  🙂

Seed bomb 2
 We wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so we tried to think of how we could make the most of just a few supplies.  We found an old plastic sewing supply box in the basement that would work perfectly for soaking, straining and blending our paper.  We also grabbed an old t-shirt from our shop rag pile (for straining), and a stray window screen (for drying).  Upstairs we found a watering can, the immersion blender,  a pack of native wildflower seeds purchased from The Dirty Gardener on Amazon, and a plastic colander.

 

We began by shredding the paper, and since mini-Mel was only two and a half at the time of this project, ripping it up seemed like the natural and best way to get this done.  She really enjoyed this aspect of the project, but she tired of it quickly.  We never finished the stack on the table – in fact, she lost momentum at about twenty-five sheets.

Seed bomb 6

Once we had everything “shredded”, we added a decent amount of water. We were pleased with how the pulp turned out in the end – it left nice chunks of color throughout the final bombs.

Mini-Mel LOVES water.  It was hard to keep her out of the bucket and her favorite part was burying her arms up to her elbows in the water and then saying “Look at what I’m doing mommy…”

We let the paper soak for about 30 minutes.  The lesson instructions we wrote state to let the paper sit overnight, but keep in mind that working with a two and a half year old with little attention span and little patience means thirty minutes was long enough!

After that we strained the paper out and dumped the old water onto some mushroom logs in the yard (another ongoing project).  We added some fresh water to the bucket and covered the paper just enough to ensure that the motor on the immersion blender would not overheat.

Seed bomb 7

Once we added the final amount of water, blending ensued.  Everyone enjoyed this part, especially the dog!

Seed bomb 8

After we achieved a level of “oooey gooey” we could agree on, we did a final strain with the colander and a nice size square of the t-shirt from the shop rag pile from the basement.  A cheesecloth would work well here also, but in the spirit of recycling, we were happy with using an old scrap.  We squeezed out as much water as possible, dumped the remaining water out of the bucket, and poured the pulp back into the bucket once again for the final steps of making the bombs.

Seed bomb 5

Looks appetizing, eh…?
Next step – mix in the seeds.  We added about a quarter cup of seeds for the amount of pulp we had (about 4 cups). Mix it thoroughly into the pulp.

Seed bomb 4

Last step?  Forming the seed bombs!  Grab a small amount of pulp into your hands and squeeze!  Squeeze the remaining water out (as much as you can) and lay them in a nice warm place to dry out.  We found an old window screen downstairs that doubled as a great place to dry our bombs.
Seed bomb 9

 

The Nugget and I had such a wonderful time making these.  When I asked her where she wanted to plant them, she walked all around the yard saying “I want some here… and I want some here… and I want some here…”  The mini-Mel loved making these, and your students will too. This is a great lesson to add to your plant unit, ecology unit, or even an Earth science unit.

Once your seed bombs are made, plant them and have students journal about the process that ensues. If you’d like to get the instructions and the journal templates,check out the full lesson in our store here!

Happy teaching!

 

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