It is fun to share my love of gardening with our kids. They enjoy getting their hands in the dirt and getting involved in the process. When we are potting plants, soil often leaches out through the drainage holes. Not only does this waste the soil, but it leaves a mess. We re-purposed dryer lint to solve this problem.
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Re-purpose Dryer Lint for Gardening: Green-STEM Activity for Kids
You will need:
- Dryer Lint
- Empty applesauce cups or other small re-purposed containers
- Large nail
- Craft sticks
- Paper straws (optional) Your kids can use these first and, instead of tossing them, re-purpose.
- Permanent Marker
Turn each applesauce container upside down and make three drainage holes in the bottom using the nail and hammer. I had the kids attempt this part but our hammer was too heavy. If your children are older, perhaps they could do this part with adult supervision, otherwise it is an adult task.
If using straws, cut the straw in half or in thirds depending on the size of your container. Cut the craft sticks in pieces large enough to write the name of what you are planting. Cut two slits in the straw and insert the craft stick with the name in permanent marker as shown in the picture above. Alternatively, simply write the names of the plants on whole craft sticks and insert them into the soil.
Have the children fill the container about one third full of dryer lint. Then, have them fill it with soil on top of the lint.
Once the soil is in the container, follow the instructions on your packet of seeds to determine the depth of hole needed for your seeds. Make the holes in the soil, and have the children sprinkle or place the seeds and cover with soil. Then gently water and observe how the lint prevents the soil from coming out the bottom of the container. Notice how the water still drains effectively.
Place the containers in an area that receives natural light, either indoors or out depending on your climate and conditions. If you are looking for quick gratification for your children or students, I recommend kale (or another fast sprouting seed). Our children were very excited when they began to see the kale growing in our containers. It is fun for them to check the progress each day. Save any leftover lint and collect more to use in all your potted plants.
Check out more great STEM ideas in 28 Days of STEM hosted by Left Brain Craft Brain. We are excited to be participating!