We’ve been thoroughly enjoying helping all the milkweed seed pods we find by sending the fluffy seeds into the wind. They’re magical and essential for our monarch populations and it’s a fun way to discuss a visible life cycle/cause and effect. I had also noticed an abundance of projects using milkweed seed pods online so stopped to collect the seed pods on a bike ride home one day. This whole project was made up of many smaller projects, but it was a lot of fun because Odin was always excited about the next phase.
The first thing we did after collecting the seed pods together was to open them up and separate the seeds and the fluff. Odin was very excited about this because he had seen this photo on Instagram and wanted to do the same fun activity. I set out two of our wooden bowls from our nature table. I sat with him and helped because it’s a pretty tedious activity (with seedpod fluff flying all over the place), and at his age he will lose interest quickly if there isn’t someone else guiding him along. When we finished separating all the seeds and fluff from the three seed pods we collected, we put the fluff in a mason jar with a lid so that it wouldn’t all fly away before we had the chance to use it!
The second part we did on that first day was to create a little seed packet to store some of our seeds away in the freezer to plant in the spring. Tuesdays have become our painting days since starting to follow along with the rhythms from Whole Family Rhythms so we used one of our watercolor sheets to cut and fold into our seed packet.
Odin and I talked a bit about what we wanted to use the milkweed fluff for and we both decided on a little pillow (my argument was that it was simple and Odin just agreed saying it would be the softest pillow in the world). We already planned to use the seed casing as a tiny cradle for a felted, acorn-capped baby so the milkweed fluff stuffed pillow was perfect for our little setting. On the second day, Odin picked out his favorite linen and we cut two small rectangles out. I threaded an embroidery needle and handed the project to him allowing him to sew. I was actually very impressed with how focused he was and how determined he was to sew the entire thing himself.
On the third day, we turned our pillow inside out and began to stuff it full of soft floaty milkweed fluff. While he stuffed, I started to felt our little milkweed baby, then I sewed the pillow shut for him.
We separated half the seed and placed them into our seed packet we had made a few days before. Odin’s been really interested in letters lately so we used his alphabet stones to spell out milkweed. Then we copied the letters onto our seed packet together.
We planted half the seeds and stored the other half in the refrigerator (milkweed seeds need to go through a dormant winter, just as they would outdoors). Then we played with our new doll pillow and felted acorn capped milkweed baby for the rest of the afternoon!