This activity is part arts and crafts and part gardening! At HealthBarn USA, we soak old newspaper, blend it into a pulp, mix it with seeds, and end up with cool, personalized paper shapes that can be planted directly into the garden. Kids love the idea of planting their own seed paper, and it’s a great way to reinforce the excitement of recycling.
Time: 30 minutes active time, plus a few hours prep and overnight to dry.
Materials: Newspaper (preferably with soy-based, not petroleum-based, ink), large container, blender, warm water, strainer or cheesecloth, herb or veggie seeds.
Adult prep: Gather newspaper and monitor use of the blender.
Tear paper into small pieces (the smaller the better, so as not to damage the blender!) and soak newspaper in water in a large container for a few hours or overnight. This soaking step is necessary to protect your blender.
- After soaking the paper, fill blender about halfway with paper pieces
- Start blending on low and slowly increase the speed of the blender to high. Keep blending (about 30 seconds) until the newspaper has formed a smooth pulp. Add more water in small pours if it seems too dry or cakey.
- Pour the pulp into a mesh strainer or into a cheese cloth and apply pressure to squeeze out the excess water. It should have a doughy consistency.
- Take a fist-size ball of the newspaper pulp and, on a flat surface, flatten it out and form it into a fun shape! Kids at the Barn love making flower shapes or hearts.
- Sprinkle the seeds onto the paper or create patterns with the seeds and press them in gently.
- Put the seed paper outside to dry (in the sun, if possible!). This should take overnight.
- Once dry, the seed paper can be planted directly in the ground, and your veggies or herbs will begin to grow!
– Stacey Antine, MS RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA
A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too! In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together.