Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Gifts That Grow

Gifts that GrowPlay-Grow-Read

Spring is in the air and it’s time to think about planning a summer garden. Here is a fun craft children can make as a gift for others or keep and plant in the family garden this summer. The tearing and squeezing can be done by small children and will help develop the muscles in the hand that they will need to hold a pencil and write when they begin school.


  • Newspaper
  • Seeds (wildflower seeds work well)
  • Cookie cutters
  • A blender
  • Sieve


Have children tear the newspaper into small pieces. ADULT: Put the paper pieces in the blender a couple of handfuls at a time. Add some water. Blend the newspaper pieces and water until it becomes a mushy pulp. Work in batches, transferring the pulp you make into a sieve resting over a bowl. Have children squeeze out as much liquid as they can. Add the seeds to the squeezed pulp and mix. Fill cookie cutter shapes with the seed mixture. Stand the cutters on some paper towel to absorb any liquid that will be squeezed out. Push the pulp down very firmly. Carefully push the shaped pulp from the cutter and leave it on some wax paper to dry.

To Use

Store your “seed cookies” in a cool dry place until you are ready to give them away as gifts or plant them in your own garden.

Other Ideas

Talk about how plants grow from seeds and teach children the names of various plants. The garden is an excellent place for young children to learn about colors, numbers and shapes. Consider planting seeds in a letter pattern to spell out a child’s name, or planting edible herbs for young children to taste and smell.



This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.


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Written by Ali


Ali is a Collection Development Paraprofessional at KDL. She loves cookbooks and memoirs.

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