I remember the first time I discovered seed rolls or seed tape. (You know the seed tape you can buy from gardening supply companies?) Genius!
You simply roll out the tape or roll, and the seeds are already in place, perfectly 1-2 inches apart or whatever the particular seed calls for. Then I heard about someone at my Master Gardener’s organization making their own version with kids using paper towels and toilet paper. Double genius! Ever since then I developed my own version, making a spider. It’s now one of my favorite, cheapest and easiest activities to do with a group of kids. Seriously, you can entertain an entire class for less than $2! Here’s how to make some spider seed mats!
- Cut out your spider shape. You can see here that I cut out two circles and four legs. Depending on how old the kids are or how much time you have, you can pre-cut these to make it easier.
- You can plant any kind of seed, but I love using spider flower (cleome) for my spider shape. It’s an easy flower for kids to grow, and it’s fun, too. You can follow the directions on the back of the seed packet for placement, but I like to tell the kids to put 1-2 seeds on the tip of each leg. So get your seeds ready.
- Now make a glue-like mixture out of flour and water. Mix until it’s a little bit sticky. Then dab just a little bit (you don’t need much) on the end of each leg. Let dry for 5-10 minutes.
- Once dry, gently roll up your spider legs. If it’s too early to plant in the ground, save it. Or if you’re ready to plant, go out to the garden and place it on the soil. Then cover your spider with just a thin later of soil. Water and wait for your spider to start sprouting!
You can make these seed mats with just about any seed or shape. I’d love to try making suns with sunflower seeds next. Just follow the directions on the back of seed packet for spacing. It’s a great way to save time in the garden and get your hands dirty in spring when it’s still a little too cold to garden. Here’s a link to a video of a similar seed roll you can make.