Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Teaching - Fine Motor Skills

Making Seed Tapes!

Well, Spring is going strong around here and we have had so much rain that we have not even been able to plant seeds or flowers outside yet. Since I had some seeds sitting on the table and I wanted my son to help me plant them I thought it would be a great time to work on his fine motor skills.

You can sometimes buy pre-made seep tapes but often times they will also contain some weed seeds. It is a breeze and very inexpensive to make your own custom seed tapes though.

Flower, Vegetable or Herb seed packets of your choosing
Paper towels or newspaper, cut into strips about 1 inch wide
Flour - very small amount needed
Water - very small amount needed
Cotton swabs
Wax paper

Put a small amount of flour (about a spoonful) of flour into a small bowl. Add a small amount of water and stir to get the lumps out. You are looking for a glue like consistency. We did use our little whisk to get the lumps out. Once you have that ready, open up your first packet of seeds.

Lay a piece of wax paper over the surface that you will be working on to keep your seed tapes from sticking to the table surface. Read the seed packet to see how far apart your seeds should be planted. I show my son this distance but he gets excited and does not always stick to the recommendation but that is okay. Now use the cotton swab and dip it into the flour glue. Dab it onto the paper towel. You do not need a lot of flour glue for the seeds to stick, less is better. Once you have a glue spot, lay a seed on top. Repeat this for all of your seeds.

We used Red Cypress Vine, White Cypress Vine and Passionflower seeds with no big problems. The Poppy seeds however were TINY! What we did with those is I would just have my son push his finger down into the seeds and the ones that stuck to his finger would be put on each flour glue spot. As you can see, there are several on each flour glue spot but there was no other way for him to get the seeds on the seed tape.

Once you have done all of your seeds, label them somehow. I used a Sharpie and it was hard to write on my paper towel but it is good enough for me to remember for a day or two. Now let the seed tapes dry. Once they are dried, they can be rolled up and put into envelopes of you can not plant them soon. If you can plant them soon, just dig a hole as deep as recommended on the seed pack and lay your seed tape in the hole. For us, we will be planting the Cypress Vines in pots to set on the deck but the other seed tapes will be planted in the flower beds.

Have a great Spring! Get outside and enjoy some time with your kids and with nature.

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