April 22 is Earth Day! This is the perfect time to make a paper craft to help support one of Earth’s greatest friends – pollinators! The most common pollinators are insects – things like bees, wasps, butterflies, and beetles. These insects visit flowers of plants to find food, mates, and shelter. In doing this they pick up pollen and transfer it between plants. If pollination is a success, the plants go on to produce seeds. Over 80% of the world’s flowering plants depend on pollinators to reproduce. Without them the world as we know it would be very different. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife said it best: everyone’s future flies on the wings of pollinators!
Everyone’s Future Flies On the Wings of PollinatorsU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The livelihood of pollinators is at risk. They are threatened by pollution, improper use of pesticides, and invasive species, and their habitats are disappearing. Luckily, there is much we can do to help our pollinator friends. For ideas and more pollinator facts check out this brochure from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
One way we can help our pollinator friends is by growing wildflowers for them to enjoy. Kids love to getting their hands into gardening and they also love getting their hands in paper pulp! For an Earth Day craft let’s combine the two to make seed paper! You can turn the seed paper into a card or a flower to gift like in the video below. Then plant the paper, watch it grow, and enjoy your visiting pollinator friends, knowing you’re helping out! The paper in the video was made using Arnold Grummer’s “Let’s Make Paper!” kit. It’s so much fun!
SOME HELPFUL HINTS
- Try using flat seeds like cosmos, calendula, cornflower, marigold, and zinnia. Or search for the many excellent pollinator seed mix packets available.
- Dry your paper with full heat/no steam. The seeds will withstand the temperature for the short time it takes to dry your paper.
- Try recycling different papers for this project. The paper in the video is a recycled seed packet. Try envelopes or paper egg carton. You can even use toilet paper, just add a pinch of pre-shredded cotton to improve your results!
If you’re making seed paper on the go, print out this recipe card to take along. Happy Earth Day and Happy Papermaking!