"What's This? A Seed's Story" and activities

Cover of "What's This? A Seed's Story"

By: Ellie Springer

What’s This? A Seed’s Story 

by Caroline Mockford 

Video of Ms. Ellie reading the story.

  • Sensory play: fill a bin with soil, some bigger seeds like sunflower, pumpkin/squash or beans, and small buckets and shovels, or you can fill a tub with grass or bird seed. If you have a magnifying glass, these are great to add to a seed sensory bin. If there are different types of seeds in your bin, your child can sort them in a muffin tin or ice cube tray. 

  • Look for seeds out in nature: right now you can find lots of little maple trees starting to grow from the "helicopter" seeds that fell last fall. Look around your yard or local conservation land for the maple seedlings, and anything else you can find that looks like a seed. Did you know an acorn is a seed for an oak tree?

  • Plant your own seeds: you can of course buy seeds and plant them according to the instructions, but for an easy alternative, dried beans can be easily sprouted. Put a bean in a Ziploc bag with a damp paper towel (don’t zip it all the way closed), and tape it to a window where it will get lots of sun. In a few days, a shoot will come out. Once it outgrows the bag, you can plant it in dirt. You can also try planting seeds from apples, cucumbers, watermelon, or other produce you eat—or try planting a sunflower seed packaged as a snack. They may not grow, but your child will enjoy the process.  

  • Flower dissection (for preschool children): buy some flowers and let your child explore them with scissors, plastic knives, tweezers, and magnifying glasses. 

  • Flower painting: use flowers or leaves as paint brushes, or put colorful petals between two pieces of paper and hammer them or rub them on the paper to get the color from the flower onto the paper. 

  • Be a seed: have your child curl up on the floor and pretend to be a seed. You (or an older sibling) can be the gardener watering the seed and the sun warming the seed. Your child can pretend grow into a seedling, grow leaves and flowers, and reach up for the sun. 

  • Other books about seeds, growing: A Seed is SleepyPlanting a RainbowGrowing Vegetable SoupThe Tiny SeedUp in the Garden and Down in the DirtBecause of an Acorn 

  • Books about seasons: Tap the Magic Tree, series by Kenard Pak: Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn etc., series by Shelly Rotner: Hello Seasons 


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Rachel has been a part of the JRI team since January, 2000. For over 20 years, Rachel has been working in the field of human services assisting families with accessing and navigating services. Rachel received her Bachelors degree in psychology and Masters Degree in Public Administration from Bridgewater State University. She was promoted in July 2005 to Family Networks Program Director where she closely worked with the Department of Children Families for 10 years ensuring that children and families received the highest quality of individualized services ranging from community based through residential care. Rachel is very dedicated to helping the individuals she works with and is committed to improving the lives of children and families. Rachel’s passion for creative service programming inspires her in her role as JRI Service Navigator.