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Large brown circular seed in green area.

Nature Challenge: All About Seeds

Celebrate the seed gathering season with these fun activities.

Make a Sunflower Bird Feeder

Birds need a little help finding food in the autumn.

Steps

  1. Ask an adult to help you poke a hole through the middle of a sunflower head using a sharp pencil.
  2. Thread a piece of string through the hole.
  3. Hang your sunflower bird feeder on your windowsill, or in your garden.

Tips!

Hang your feeder to a spot you can see from indoors so you are able to watch the birds without disturbing them.

Check your sunflower bird feeders every day, especially if it’s wet or rainy. If your sunflower heads start to look mouldy take them down. You don’t want to be feeding rotten seeds to the birds.

Mini-challenge!

How many birds can you spot on a walk? Can you name them all? Visit the RSPB website for guidance on how to identify birds.

Mini-challenge!

How many different kinds of seeds can you find?

Seeds in our food

Look at these fruits and vegetables.

Make a Rainstick

Save some seeds from your lunch or dinner and find some small sticks.  Put them into an empty clean water bottle. Close the lid and you have made a rain stick to make some noise!

Tips!

Use a funnel to add the seeds to your bottle.

Don’t overfill your bottle. Make sure there is plenty of space for all your ingredients to move around.

 

Spice it up! Experiment with Edible Seeds from the Spice Cabinet

Some herbs like coriander, anise, poppy, fennel and mustard, can be grown from seeds you can buy in your local grocery store.

Steps

Place the seeds between two sheets of wet paper towels for a few days to see if they will germinate. Germinating means the seed sprouts to create a new plant.

If they sprout, plant them in a container and keep them indoors.  You now have your own supply of spices to add flavour, colour and aroma to your dishes!

Tips!

Buy organic seeds to be sure that they have not been treated with chemicals or heat that keep them from sprouting.

Remember that plants need soil, water and sunlight to grow.

Seed Gym

Plants spread their seeds in lots of different ways. Can you act some of them out?

Poppy heads rattle in the wind causing the seeds to drop out and roll – stand on a spot and shake your whole body.

Dandelion pappus acts as a fluffy parachute – pretend you are being blown away by the wind.

Gorse has seeds that catapult from exploding seed pods –Do big star jumps in air clapping hands above head and shouting ‘bang!’

Sycamore tree seeds spin in the wind like helicopters – spin with arms out at right angles.

Alder cones disperse by floating on and being carried away by water – pretend you are swimming.

Horse chestnut tree seeds (conkers) drop, bounce and roll – mime the action.

Mini-challenge!

Collect some fallen seeds and come up with your own seed game to play with your family.

Here are some examples from our collection to inspire you.

Mancala is a popular game throughout the world, but especially in Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is played by two people who put seeds in the small pits and take turns to move them around the board according to certain rules in order to capture them. Whoever captures the most seeds wins!

Can you come up with your own rules for this game?

This toy bird is made of a fir cone, wood, and paint.

What animal can you make out of a pinecone? A mouse, fish or maybe an owl?

This curved ‘rattling boomerang’ is made from a large seed pod.

Can you find a helicopter seed and spin it?