Autumn is here and the garden is bursting with seeds. For children, well for everyone, seeds are a magical source of growth each spring. In the fall seeds are mostly hidden from view, but they are there - waiting to be discovered and explored. This activity opens a child's eyes to the presence of these miraculous little treasures.
Materials: magnifying glasses, a yard or garden where you can find seeds (or some fruits and vegetables), a few additional things with seeds, spoons or something to scrape out seeds, rocks or something to grind or bang open the seeds.
Walk out into your yard, or a park or a field, or any natural spot, and ask the simple questions "where are the seeds?" Wait a few minutes and allow the children (child) to think and poke about a bit before you offer any input suggestions. You can either collect seeds together, or present them with a few things that contain seeds. Find a place to work, and let them discover.
When I asked Hadley and Finley to find seeds in our backyard, they started digging. It completely surprised me (of course mom - that's where we put the seeds in the spring), and my first instinct was to jump in a redirect them, but I let them dig, and after only a few seconds, Hadley grabbed a few snap peas, and broke open the pod. Within minutes they were running around (through my garden!) pulling of vegetables and flowers looking for the mystical seeds.
When I presented them with a few things with seeds, they were thrilled, and scraped, broke, ground, ate?, and smelled. We talked about how some seeds you can eat (sunflower) and some seeds you can't (apple). Even the baby got to poke around with the sunflower and marigolds a bit. Since I mentioned that we eat some seeds, I found this bowl of goodies in the kitchen later - ready to make soup - yum.
If you get the chance check out this fabulous book about seeds "A Seed is Sleepy."
and Seasons of Joy