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Those Clever Seeds!

This week on our walks around town, in the park, forest, etc. we are keeping our eyes open for seeds!

Seeds come in all shapes and sizes and are designed with different purposes!

Isn’t that wild to imagine?

If you are in a space where collecting items from nature is allowed (not so in National Parks, Nature Preserves, etc.), encourage your child to be on the look-out for seeds and gather them as they come (or blow) across their path.

You can take them home and display the seeds on your nature table or keep them in a safe place until you have enough to put them into a few categories.

Seeds are smart little things and each have their own way of getting from one place to another.

Some seeds, such as Maples (we call them “whirligigs”) fall into the Helicopter family or category.

As they let go of their host tree, they fly away, as if they have propellers.

Sometime they, along with their friend the wind, can go quite impressive distances.

Cockleburs are considered Hitchhikers as they attach themselves to your clothing or the fur of animals to get to where they want to go.

The fruit from a cherry, apple or berry bush or tree is so yummy it is eaten by birds and other critters.

As the animal digests the fruit, the seeds are scattered/cast onto the earth wherever the critter does his/her “business.” TMI?

These fall into the Delectable category.

Then, of course, you have the trees and plants that are spread with the outside help of animals, but not through the eating them (above method.)

Instead, trees such as chestnuts and oaks, rely on the burying habits of squirrels and Blue Jays. As detailed in a previous Weekly Wonder (Animal Observation- 5/14/22), these two forest friends sometimes forget where they buried and stored each of their treasures so that these forgotten acorns, etc. have a chance to take root and begin the process of growing into a tree.

The Dandelion, when in seed form, is considered a Parachutist, which is evidenced by what happens when you blow it. (Don't forget to make a wish!)

There are also Missiles, such as Jewelweed. The seeds in this category often explode or burst, projecting their seeds in the process.

Floaters scatter themselves by allowing water to help them along.

For example, coconuts and lotuses can be carried along by the current and end up many miles away where they wash up onto land and continues the life cycle.

Using whatever method you would like, work with your little one to put their treasures into categories.

You can create a chart on paper, use an empty egg carton, bowls…just make sure you’re somewhere the wind isn’t going to whip in and carry some of them away!

Below are a few of the seed families I mentioned.

Your children can make up their own as well.

While they are learning, the bigger point of this is help them personally connect with nature in a real way.


Wood Sorrels


Witch hazels

Floating (usually located by water):



Silver Birch





Water lily

Palm trees








Birches (use wind & water)











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