Our almost-three-year-old goes to school two mornings a week and though it was a winding (and pretty difficult!) road finding a classroom environment we all liked, we finally found one! We absolutely adore his teachers and school and feel lucky to be a part of his new school.
As the year comes to and end, I want to do something special to let them know how much we appreciate them and all the hard work they do. Because as cute as toddlers are, caring for a group of them all day is, well, not always so cute.
I love DIY projects, especially when my kiddo can participate in the making part. I also love useful gifts so seed starts hearts fit the bill for both of those things. Not only are they easy to make, they’ll leave a lasting impression as they bloom over the summer months!
1 cup Flour
1/4 Cup Cornstarch
1/4 cup Water (give or take)
A pinch of Epsom salts
Seeds! I used organic Echinacea seeds because not only are they beautiful flowers, but what teacher doesn’t need an immune booster around?! I included directions on how to plant them but also how to use the echinacea once it blooms. If they’re into that sort of thing. If not, who cares? It’s still a pretty flower to have around!
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, Epsom salts and water until it makes a dough-like consistency.
2. Shape into whatever your heart desires. I used heart-shaped baking molds, but cookie cutters will also work. Or just roll them into small balls!
3. Sprinkle generously with seeds, or roll through a pile if making a ball. We made carrot seed balls for ourselves and my toddler absolutely loved rolling the dough through the tiny seeds.
4. Let fully dry in a warm spot, but not in direct sunlight.
5. Depending on the shape you make, you can poke small holes in them and add string once dried. That way, if your teachers aren’t gardeners they can hang them up as either decoration or a mini bird feeder.
6. I wrapped them with some cute string and made a card that had planting instructions on one side and Echinacea-uses on the other. I also used some envelopes that my son decorated when we did our eggplant stamping last week. I added some Echinacea tea and another small potted plant to round out the gift and done. If you don’t know if your gift-receiver has a garden, you can give them a large plant pot and some soil to round out the gift and make it easier to use. Or do the bird-feeder route, as listed above. They look cute either way!
7. Planting instructions: These can go in a pot (one heart per pot) or a garden. You can put them about 1/4 to 1/2 inch into damp soil. If you plant more than one in a garden, just leave about 8 inches of space between hearts. Water daily and you should have sprouts within 10-20 days! You can start Echinacea in a pot and then transplant it to a garden, if you wanted. They like full sun and warm temps whether they are in a pot or a garden bed. Echinacea seeds can be planted in a garden during late summer, 12 weeks before a frost, so the seed hearts don’t need to be dealt with right away! Teachers can have some necessary down-time before they get to the planting. If you do wildflower seeds, or seed balls, you can place them in a pot only half-buried, so the tops of the balls are sticking out of the soil. Water daily and you should have sprouts pretty quickly. You can also do less seeds then we did, especially if they will be planted in a pot.
Here is our test run, drying:
Getting ready to wrap them with some of our eggplant-stamped papers…
Hopefully our seed hearts will bloom in their garden just as my son bloomed in their care. (Ugh, I have become a sentimental mush-pile!)