Spring has come to northern California and it’s just stunning. With the winter rains gone and the warm sun out, all our kids are itching to get outdoors and play! My own first little one is due in a few days, but I got together with some girlfriends and their kiddos to see have an afternoon of garden fun with all the goodies Annie’s recently sent us. We planted a garden, had amazing snacks, and made these cool “Seed Bombs” (scroll to the bottom for the DIY). All in all, it made for a perfect spring playdate!
What is Annie’s? Well thanks to being a nanny a few years ago, I am well acquainted with all their amazing snacks and foods they make that drive kids wild, particularly the cheddar bunnies and fruit snacks! But if you don’t know, this is one of the few food companies with a conscious that care about making foods that are actually good to put in your body – especially compared to some of the awful snacks out there for kids. Did you know their entire Bernie’s Farm line contains no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or synthetic preservatives? Now that’s a food line I can get on board with! Did you also know- Annie’s offers Grants for Gardens donations to schools and other educational programs to help kids connect gardens to real food? Amazing!
We started out the afternoon by doing a starter seed garden that Annie’s sent me. We planted a variety of foods such as beans, blueberries, carrots, beets, and peas (all foods found in the Annie’s products) in these cute little pots. Once they sprout we will transfer the sprouts and their entire pot (biodegradable) into the ground in our garden. The kids loved this activity and can’t wait to see the sprouts coming up – they were especially excited about growing their own blueberries!
After planting our mini starter garden it was snack time! Annie’s provided us with this amazing crate that not only had the gardening supplies and snacks, but also several fruits and veggies that are used in their foods, and coloring book activities for kids that shows where their food really comes from.
I love that this company cares about teaching kids the connection between farm to table! I feel like that was a concept lost on my generation. We became too used to seeing our food come in packages loaded with preservatives, dyed a strange unnaturally bright colors, that in no way resembled any real food source that comes from nature.
In fact we became so used to it, that as I learned to eat a “clean” and more “whole food” diet as an adult, it has taken some getting used to see food in this more natural state. I hope to change this with my own children. We are off to a great start as last spring my husband and I planted 10 different fruit trees in our backyard and this spring hope to get a raised vegetable and herb going.
We are so blessed to live in an area where all this grows so easy. I can’t wait to take my first child, a little boy who is due in a few days, out to our backyard when he’s old enough to pick his first orange off our own tree or trim basil to bring in to make spaghetti.
The ironic part to me is that basically we are trying to revert back to eating how my grandparents ate growing up – all of who grew up on dairy farms in Kansas or cattle ranches in Nebraska. They were already eating local, organic, non-GMO, whole foods and didn’t even know it. It wasn’t a trend, to them it was just “food.” I’m so excited to know that I can teach my kids about this part of their heritage by feeding them products from the Bernie’s Farm line – all of which ach kids about farms and where food comes from. I will feel good about making snack time more meaningful and the kids love the colorful fun shapes and yummy flavors!
The kids today at our play date certainly loved all the snacks, they promptly inhaled as many snacks as they could before their moms had to intervene and cut them off so they would have room for supper later.
Seed Bomb DIY:
We ended our gardening play date with this simple DIY to make “Seed Bombs”. What are seed bombs? I explained it to the kids by saying these are little balls full of seeds, that when you toss and water them, there is an explosion of flowers! Not right away of course, but in 5-20 days! We choose to use “California Native Wildflowers” that are drought tolerant since that is where we live, but you should use whatever you would enjoy and would grow well in your area.
(makes 8 “bombs”)
- Flower seeds
- 4 sheets of colorful paper
- 3 cups water
- blender or food processor
- mixing bowl
Optional to wrap them as gifts:
- cellophane bags (from Michael’s)
- cute tags (from Michael’s)
- moss twine (from Michael’s)
1. Tear up the paper into pieces and then put the pieces into the blender.
2. Add the 3 cups water and blend everything until pulverized (I had to stop and stir mine a few times and then blend more to get it all).
3. Place a strainer over the bowl and pour the entire contents from the blender into the strainer. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to strain the water out. You can help the process along by pressing the paper down into the strainer to squish the water out.
4. Once the paper is a consistency that you can form it into a shape and it will hold, scoop some out (about the size of a meatball) and add a small spoonful of seed to the pulp.
5. Gently mix up the pulp and the seeds and squeeze out any excess water until the ball is fairly compact. Don’t squeeze out too much though or the ball will crumble! If that happens just add back in some fresh wet pulp to wet it down and get it to stick together again.
6. Allow them to dry for 24-48 hours and then you can package and give them away as gifts if you want. Or you can just let your kids keep them and choose where they want to “bomb” with flowers!
7. Optional: you can wrap them! I just put a few in clear cellophane bags, and tied cute tags to them with moss twine with the instructions “1. Toss 2. Water 3. Grow Wild!” on the tags.
I think these would be such cute project to give away at Easter, in May Day baskets, a birthday party favor, or wedding favor!
After we were done with this the sun was setting and it was time for the garden play date to draw to a close. It was so much fun to get creative and dirty with the kids today gardening and crafting! Thank you so much to Marta and her kids for letting us play at her lovely house and our photographer Tara for taking these amazing pics and her kids as well for playing with me today! All your children were amazing “models” and I hope they had as much fun as I did!
Gorgeous images by Tara Rudolph Photography.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Annie’s, however, all words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Camp Makery going with fresh content every day!