- Author: Maria X. Isip-Bautista
For my daughter's third birthday last year, she chose to have a rainbow-themed party. She's quite the colorful personality, so this made perfect sense. And since her birthday is in the spring, a time when all is beautiful and in bloom, we thought it'd be especially fitting to make seed bombs (or seed balls, for those of a more pacifist persuasion) to give out to our guests. These small balls of clay, soil, and wildflower seeds can be tossed into empty spots of soil that get plenty of sun and some rain/water, and they'll eventually break down and germinate into beautiful flowers for all to enjoy!
This is a fun and pretty easy, though messy, project that the kids can help out with. With the rain on its way this fall, it's great time to make some of your own. Here's how:
- White Air-Dry Craft Clay- This can be purchased at any local craft store. With one five-pound bucket of clay, we created over a hundred ¾-1-inch diameter balls.
- Compost or Potting Soil- Potting Soil is recommended if young children are helping, since it's sterile and some of the mixture may end up smeared all over a kid.
- Seeds!- I highly recommend getting a blend of native wildflower seeds that are suited to our region. These varieties will grow more easily since they're native to our climate and will better feed/attract pollinators (bees, birds, etc). Ask your local nursery for recommendations.
- Food Coloring in whatever colors you'd like to use
- A Bucket or other large, easy to clean container- for mixing. You can even use multiple containers, one for each color you're using, if you've got them.
- Old Egg Cartons- to use for drying your seed bombs.
As always, proper set up makes all the difference, especially if you've got little helpers for this project. Be sure to pick a dry, sunny day for making your seed bombs. Wear old work or play clothes that you don't mind getting messy. I recommend doing this project outside with newspaper or old cardboard laid out to cover your work area. Put some soil, seed, and water into easy-to-pour containers, so you're not fumbling around to gather material after you've begun. It's a good idea to pre-portion out your clay according to the number of different color bombs you're making.
First, put the correct ratio of material (5 parts clay: 1 part soil: 1 part seed) into your bucket in a manageable amount. (Mix each color mixture separately.)
Slowly add in water, just enough to make it mixable without becoming watery or runny.
Then, add in enough food coloring to get the shade/depth of color you want. (Remember that these colors will not be as bright once they've dried.)
Mix! (I recommend using your hands for optimal messy fun!)
Portion out palm-sized chunks of the mixture, roll them into balls, and drop them into your waiting egg cartons. (For a smoother finish, go back through and re-roll each ball again once they've dried a bit.)
Allow your seed bombs to dry in the sun for several hours, and then bring them indoors to finish drying over night.
That's it! Find a fun, pretty way to package your seed balls, and don't forget to include instructions on how to use them, if you're going to give them away. As with all seeds, you'll get more plants to germinate if you don't wait too long to plant them (i.e. use them within the year). On the flip-side of our instructions, we also printed a list of the types of wildflower seeds included the bombs.
Hope you enjoy this fun project that can help create a more colorful and beautiful place for us all!