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nature school project - egg carton seed starters

In this Martin & Sylvia: Nature School story, "Tender Seedlings," when Sylvia wakes up one morning and smells the oatmeal porridge for breakfast, she wonders, “Why do we always have the same foods for breakfast?" While working on a nature school project of planting kale seeds in egg carton pots, Sylvia and Momma discuss this question and consider the idea that people — as well as garden seedlings — feel tender in the morning and don't want lots of change.

We are joined by KC, our sparkle media curator, who will show us how to make egg carton seed starters.

One of the easiest ways to get started gardening is by planting seeds. It's fun and easy to do with children of all ages. Like Sylvia and Sofia, you don't need any fancy materials; you can simply use an egg carton, some seedling soil, and your choice of seeds.

egg carton seed starter kc2


  • egg carton
  • organic seed starting mix
  • trowel (or your hand)
  • seeds

Start by collecting all of your materials. I recommend starting with plants that sprout quickly and are easy to grow. Basil is a great example, as well as tomatoes and kale.

Using your hand or a trowel, fill the egg carton with seed starting soil. Seed starting soil is an extra light soil that easily allows the seed to sprout and grow.

egg carton seed starter kc 1

Next plant one seed in each compartment and cover it with soil. Make sure that the seed packet recommends starting the seeds in a tray and not in the ground. (Some seeds don't do well when transplanted.)

Lastly, mist the soil in the egg carton with a spray bottle or gently pour water over each compartment to wet the soil. Place the egg carton in a sunny window and keep the soil moist. Don't let it dry out or the seeds will have trouble sprouting. Try to keep the temperature and moisture even thoughout the sprouting process because, like Momma says in the story, seedlings don't want too much change while they are growing.

If you feel like singing the seeds a song to help wake them up, try the one Sylvia sings in the story!

"Mother Earth! Take our seed and give it birth! Father Sun! Gleam and glow! Until the roots begin to grow! Sister Rain! Sister Rain! Shed thy tears to swell the grain! Brother Wind! Breathe and blow, Then the blade green will grow! Earth and Sun, Wind and Rain, Turn to gold the living grain!"

About a week after the seeds have sprouted you can transfer them to a larger container as needed.

Happy Sprouting!

About the Author

KC Pagano
Sparkle Stories Media Maven

KC is a full-time radical homemaker and mama to two spunky little girls. She writes about all kinds of radical goodness, from gardening and cooking with whole foods to attachment parenting, high needs toddlers, crafting, sewing, homeschooling, and mama musings. Read more on her blog Olive and Owl.

Martin & Sylvia Nature School

As the summer comes to an end, Momma, Martin and Sylvia reflect on all the things they loved about the summer season: hikes, walks along the beach, blueberry picking, climbing trees and collecting bird feathers. Then Momma suggests that they keep the summer outdoor fun alive all year long: “Every Thursday, let’s have Nature School!” And so Martin joins the Goose-eye Wilderness School, and Sylvia and her friend Sophia create a Nature home-school. From wildcraft cooking to outdoor games to building projects to tree identification, Nature School will be a year of unfolding learning and fun.