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Average Rating: 
Participant Age: 
7 to 12, 12 and up
Approximate Cost: 
$0
Duration: 
1 to 60 minutes
Date submitted: 
09/07/2012
Difficulty: 
Physical Challenge: 
Collect and Learn About Seeds
Go for a walk outside and see what kinds of seeds you can find.
Materials
  • Egg carton
  • Seed or plant field guide (optional)
  • Snack of sunflower or pumpkin seeds to accompany your search (optional)
Steps
Step 1
Hunt for Seeds

Help your child hunt for seeds (and the berries and other fruits that may contain them) in your neighborhood or a nearby park or woodland. A walk through tall grasses may produce burrs or other seedy hitchhikers left over from last fall. Look up to find maple or sycamore wings. Search the ground for pinecones, acorns, and last year’s apples. Berries on shrubs are great finds as well. Try to fill each section of the egg carton with a different variety. (Note: Some seeds are toxic. Don’t eat the seeds you find.)

Step 2
Take a Good Look

Find the seeds in any fruits you’ve found. Open up some of the bigger seeds to see what they look like inside. Have your child suggest reasons why acorns have hard casings and chestnut covers are thorny. (The coverings provide protection from weather and animals).

Step 3
Be Seed Detectives

Seeds have a better chance of getting enough food and light when they grow far from big plants like their parents. But how do they get there? Seeds can fly through the air or float in water to get to their new homes. They can hitch a ride on animals—in their fur or through their digestive system! Look at all the seeds you’ve gathered. Guess how each kind gets dispersed. Encourage your child to experiment. Toss seeds into the air, especially maple wings. Blow on dandelions. Shred an old pine cone to see what happens. Have your child guess the role different local animals might play in dispersing seeds.

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