Green & Easy Trick for Planting Seeds with Kids

by Amber on April 29, 2010

I celebrated Earth Day by planting seeds with kids from a local school. My friend Carmen taught me a wonderfully green trick that was fast, easy, and cheap. The method is shown below. So easy!

My favorite part of this activity was playing with the parents, who seemed just as excited as the kids to grow their own veggies, herbs, and watermelon. So grab a kid–of any age–and plant something tasty today!

Supplies Needed:
Old newspaper torn in vertical strips
Empty aluminum can (soda pop, whatever you have)
Potting soil
Hand trowel


1. Take a strip of newspaper. Lay it on a flat surface.

2. Set an aluminum can at one end of the newspaper, leaving about 2 inches of newspaper free. Wrap the newspaper around the can by rolling it tightly.


3. Turn the can upside down so that the newspaper side is facing up. Gather the loose ends of the newspaper and pinch/fold them inward, sealing off the can. You now have a sealed newspaper container.

4. Gently remove your newspaper container from the aluminum can. Turn it upright so the open end faces up. You now have a tiny seed cup.


5. Using a hand trowel, fill your seed cup with potting soil. Poke a hole in the middle, place a seed in the hole, and then cover the seed with potting soil.

6. Plant your newspaper planter directly in the ground. It will decompose naturally.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin Thebaud April 29, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Wow, awesome idea!


Angela Lemond, RD, CSP, LD April 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I'm my daughter's Girl Scout troop leader, and I think we might have to do this at our next meeting. I was looking for a simple planting activity. Thanks!!


Carmen April 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Yay! I made it on Awake at the Whisk! I love this idea. For more like it check out the California School Garden Network (CSGN). It was super helpful for curriculum ideas, but also great for anyone wanting to garden with kids.


Amber April 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Kristin, I hope you can use this idea with your neice!

Angela, let us know if the girl scouts enjoy it. Make sure you bring watermelon seeds! That was the most popular item with my group. The parents liked planting basil.

Carmen, thanks so much for this great idea! You rock!


IdellaD_Bar3321 May 3, 2010 at 12:49 am
Diane WS March 7, 2013 at 2:35 pm

I’m so glad you were in the Sac Bee today, I have found a whole new gardening blog that is local (so many of them are on the East Coast so they have very different issues from us lucky folks here). Thank you thank you!


Illinois Hummingbird March 13, 2013 at 6:34 am

Amber, we used your idea to plant pumpkin seeds with groups of children at the library’s Summer Reading Program. We planted seeds with a 60-day growing season — precisely 65 days prior to Halloween! The children loved the whole process! Thanks for another easily do-able idea!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: