Earth Day Lesson: Muddy Buddy Seed Balls

Super Teacher Ideas Science Lesson : Seed Balls Activity for Earth Day
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Earth Day: Muddy Buddies Seed Balls
Submitted by Rebecca  from ?

       A science activity that I've enjoyed for years has been for Earth Day.  I have my class make, "Muddy Buddies".  The idea of making seed balls can be attributed to Native Americans.  These compact spheres of clay have advantages over sowing and scattering seeds in traditional ways.

     Children love to play in the dirt so, this activity lends well to a discussion about  taking care of "mother earth".  The tightly packed balls hold the seeds in place so they will not be dried out by the sun, eaten by the birds or blown away by the wind.  When it rains, the mud balls melt and the seeds will germinate exactly where they are placed.

      They are not difficult to make.  The most common recipe is one-part clay soil, one-part compost(I purchase mine at the hardware)and one-part seeds (I've had the most success with cosmos but, annuals of any type will work)and a little water to hold the ball together.  Once the mixture is blended, take a little wad and roll it between your hands into balls about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter.  It's important to allow balls to completely dry before storing them.(excess moisture can rot the seeds)Place them on a screen in a sunny place.

       When they have dried, evenly divide the balls, make a bag from cheesecloth or netting and tie it shut.  I send a bag home with each child.  Be sure to include an explanation of the activity and encourage parents to toss them onto their gardens and wait for a flowery show! 

Super Teacher Ideas - Science - Earth Day Seed Balls

Webmaster note:  I've never head of these before-- what a great idea, Rebecca!  I'm sure the kids love to see what their "Muddy Buddy Seed Balls" grow.  Thank you for sharing this!