PRESS PAPER PULP
Not only will kids have fun making paper by hand, they’ll learn a bit of botany with these seed-studded wildflower cards, says molecular biologist Liz Heinecke, whose experiments with her own children led her to create her blog, Kitchen Pantry Scientist, and eight science books for children, including STEAM Lab for Kids. As an added experiment, “use different seeds in different papers and see which grows faster,” Heinecke says.
Construction paper Water
Large bowl Blender
Packet of wildflower seeds An old or inexpensive window screen Cookie cutters (any shape or size) Flower petals
1. Let your kid go to town tearing a bunch of the papers into bits. Once you get about 4 cups, add paper pieces to a large bowl; cover with water and soak for an hour.
2. Dump wet paper into blender with a little extra water, and blend, adding more water as needed to form a damp, not runny, sludge (an adult should handle this step).
3. Pour back into the bowl and stir in most of the seeds, setting a few aside for decorating.
4. Lay screen on the ground (if indoors, layer a tarp beneath). Place a few cookie cutters on top. Let your kid grab a handful of paper slop and press it into each cutter until it’s about ¼ in. thick.
5. Have your kid sprinkle reserved seeds and the petals on top of each shape. Let dry on screen, then pop out dried pulp from each cutter; shapes will be paper flowers that can sprout real flowers—just plant each paper in soil, and water.