Look what arrived yesterday right before the snow started falling!! It's always fun to open the package with the kids and show them the actual seed packets they picked out from the catalog (see post from 1/23). But now what?
Here in Zone 5, it's still too early to plant, except for those seeds we can safely winter sow in February (see winter sowing series from 1/29 to 2/1). However, this is a PERFECT TIME for kids to begin to build their knowledge base of seeds.
Seeds are incredibly interesting! Here is an online activity series that gives great information on the parts of a seed, what seeds need to germinate, edible seeds, and other great information on this amazing structure! For example, there are directions on How to Make a Seed Viewer.
Here is the one we made together! We used a pea seed.
For preschool children, start by reading a few picture books like Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson. For those who are school aged, a resource that can be introduced now and used throughout the growing season is from Usborne books, It All Starts With a Seed . . . How Food Grows by Emily Bone. (Note: Usborne books are sold by independent consultants. I bought mine from one who had a display set up at our park district, but I have no connection to the company and am not an affiliate).
Another idea is to have the kids "help" you sort the packets into categories. Here are a few ideas:
- put the seeds in order alphabetically (this is an easy way to find the seed packet you're looking for!)
- separate the squash into "winter" and "summer" types
- put all the sun loving plants in one pile and the shade tolerant plants in another
- separate out all the "nightshades" (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes)
- make a pile of the climbers (pole beans, cucumbers, etc.) and another pile of low growing plants
- separate out all the herbs . . .
The list of possibilities goes on and on . . . And once your seeds arrive, store them properly until planting.