I bet you never guessed you could make a planting pot out of newspaper! There’s a great wooden gadget called the Paper Pot Maker that we use at the Barn for this activity, but you could also use any metal can. The basic idea is that you wrap a strip of newspaper around a cylinder, folding it tightly around the bottom to create a small paper pot. You can then use the pot as a planter for pea seeds! Once the plant is strong enough, you’ll be able to transfer the whole thing to the ground, where the plant can grow and the paper becomes compost. There are lots of great things for kids to learn from this one: recycling, gardening, composting, and plant anatomy all in one! Kids will be especially surprised to learn that a dried pea is actually the seed, and they’ll love observing the cycle of the plant, too.
Time: About 10 minutes to make the pots
Materials: Paper Pot Maker or a can, strips of newspaper, soil, plastic spoon and seeds (we recommend pea seeds because they’re easy to grow).
Adult Prep: Find newspaper or other reusable paper products for the pot and rip the paper into strips about 5 inches wide.
Make the pot with newspaper or other paper material, wrapping a strip of newspaper around the cylinder and folding the paper around the bottom of it. If using the Paper Pot Maker, follow the accompanying instructions. Make sure to crease tightly around the bottom so the pot is strong.
- Fill the pot halfway with soil.
- Make a hole in the center of the soil with your index finger.
- Place 2 seeds in the finger hole and cover it with soil so the pot is about ¾ full.
- Water lightly so it’s damp to touch.
- Place the pot in a sunny window with a plate underneath to catch any water and soil that might leak out.
- Water as needed, every 2-3 days.
- Once the peas sprout and get strong and you can see roots coming out of the pot base, transfer the paper pot into a larger pot or directly into the ground—the pot will eventually just become compost.
- Enjoy the delicious sweet peas that the plant will produce!
– Stacey Antine, MS RD, author, Appetite for Life and founder, 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.