by Dr. Carla Gull
As we approach fall, the forest floor and nearby meadows will be lined with seeds, acorns, and pods. This natural reseeding process provides us opportunities to explore and interact with nature. Here are a few options:
- Make homemade paper and add seeds to the process. “Plant” the paper to see what grows.
- Mandalas made from seeds, acorns, pods, and berries are a fun way to show patterns, repetition, etc.
- Pull a long, old sock over your child’s shoe and take a hike. Investigate all the seeds the sock picked up along the way. Plant the whole sock and see what grows and/or sprout it in a plastic bag.
- Make a seed collection, with various seeds from plants in your area.
- Sort and categorize seeds. Use your own collection and/or use a 15-bean mix adding in a few special seeds of your own. Egg cartons make great sorting bins! Explore textures, colors, sizes, dispersal methods, etc.
- Count with seeds and acorns.
- Use chalk Venn diagrams to compare and contrast different seeds and acorns.
- Eat them! Have a seed buffet, with a variety of edible dried berries and seeds such as raisins, dried mulberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and more!
- Feed the birds. Make edible nature art for the birds and other animals by making a garland with their favorites or freeze seeds and berries in ice cubes for ice sculptures. Make bird feeders with pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed.
- Make natural dyes. Black walnuts make a great brown.
- Plant a native garden with seeds from nearby walks. Milkweed is a great addition to help with Monarch butterflies!
- Locally, we have many options in our yards and natural spaces to explore seeds, pods, and acorns. After interacting with them, leave them to reseed and feed the animals.
Dr. Carla Gull blogs at www.InsideOutsideMichiana.com.
She is often seen with her four tag-along explorers in the greater Michiana area.