Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bombs for Butterflies

I did this project with my five-year-old and he loved it.  He loved the mess and it also turned out to be a pretty decent counting exercise.
I started with a bag of shredded papers from my school.  I have to admit that the pre-shredded paper was nice, because I didn't have to rip paper apart and there was something quite cathartic about using old tests and assignments and turning them into mush.
We mixed the paper in with warm water.
We kept adding paper into the warm water and pushing it down.
The place I found this idea required that an immersion blender, but I only had a regular one and this worked just fine.  We did rip the paper a little bit before blending it.  We blended it to a pulpy consistency.
Again, the place I found this idea called for a sieve, but I didn't have one, so instead I just used a tea towel.  It worked perfectly.  I think that cheesecloth would have worked as well.
Next came the counting: three seeds in each "bomb" - I just kinda eyeballed the amount of pulp and then smooshed it into a ball, trying to keep the seeds somewhat central.
We used seeds that were specially mixed to attract butterflies.
In the end we were left with quite a few butterfly bombs.  It takes these quite a few days to really dry all of the way, so make certain to place them out of the way.  
The next steps for us will be to put them in little cloth wraps and then it's off to the Farmers Market and into the college fund.

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