Have Seedcoat, Will Travel!
Pick up hitch-hiking seeds on your socks.
Just as most of us are thinking about tucking in for a cozy season, many seeds are starting to pack their bags and planning the biggest trip of their lives. In the Global Gardens classrooms this time of year, our students learn that at the end of the season seeds are hard at work ensuring they will be around for the next cycle of life. They are finding an adequate spot to set down roots and sprout again. Seeds do this work by traveling in several different ways to find their new home. Some travel through the air, in the water, by animals and some even hitchhike.
Try this activity with your children, so they can get a first-hand look at how seeds travel.
Traveling Seeds Activity
- Discuss seeds and the way they travel with your family. Explain that you’re going on a walk to see how seeds travel.
- Find an old pair of socks and put them on your feet.
- Pick a good, grassy area and take a walk.
- After your walk, have a seat and examine your socks. Are there any “hitchhikers” attached?
- Observe the different kinds of seeds you’ve collected on your socks and look up any you aren’t familiar with.
- Discuss with your family how this experiment imitates nature in the way seeds travel.
Now that you’ve learned that seeds travel and even helped some of them to “hitchhike,” ask your children if they can think of how the following seeds might make their way to their new home: 1. a coconut; 2. a dandelion; 3. burrs; 4. an acorn.
Answers: 1. Water 2. Wind 3. Hitchhike 4. Animals
Fall is a great time to plant bulbs that will bloom in the spring. Popular ones among our students are daffodils, Iris and garlic. Each bulb has specific planting instructions, but one thing they have in common is they require the cold of winter in order to grow in the spring – which is the reason they wear so many coats!