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Danelle Cutting: Making seed cards with kids

By Danelle Cutting

Rowan Cooperative Extension

Teaching the fifth-graders in Laura Lindley’s class at Millbridge Elementary has been very rewarding the past couple of months. The children have been exceptionally interested and have always wanted to help, dig in the soil and pull up the weeds. The past couple of visits have been focused on the weather and how the cold temperatures can affect pests, disease and the cool season crops the children have planted.

This past Monday, we checked on our raised beds. The one with the low tunnel was doing very well, and all of the plants seemed to be thriving.

The soil was so dry that the class needed to water the beds, even though the soil around the beds was quite wet. The children also noticed a few pests, one being the infamous Cabbage Looper.

The Cabbage Looper had enjoyed munching on some of the cabbages and broccoli, but the cold temperatures from the previous week had killed the looper. The children no longer had to worry about it eating their plants.

The plants in the bed without the low tunnel had been eaten by Cabbage Loopers, rabbits and other insects or animals. Part of being in the gardening group requires documenting the activities. Lindley’s class has been blessed with iPads, so the students brought those to document the growth through photos.

I have also had the children write garden journals. Once we went inside, a student had an Asian Lady Beetle larva on their iPad. Since they were so captivated by the Cabbage Looper, everyone wanted photos of the larva. I was impressed at how interested the students were over the larva since most children seem to be scared of insects.

The final activity of the day was to create seed holiday cards. The children used construction paper, seeds, glue and metallic markers to create their holiday masterpieces. I have to say that some of the children are incredibly talented and creative.

The children used glue to make snowmen, Christmas trees, angels and even presents. Once they finished using the glue to draw, we dipped them in a seed bath so that the seed would stick to the glue. We used a variety of seeds such as radishes, beans, vetch, watermelon and many more. Seeds make a very unique card.

I think the children loved the idea once they saw the potential. Some even went back to their desks to add more seed to their cards.

These are some great ways to get your children interested in gardening while also doing some easy crafts to get into the holiday spirit.

If you would like more information on creating seed cards or earth-friendly ornaments, contact your local Cooperative Extension Agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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