Take a Sock Walk this Autumn for Seed Finding Fun

Take a sock walk this autumn for seed finding fun

Fall is here. The leaves have started turning and animals are preparing for the upcoming winter season. Plants are at the end of their life cycle, scattering seeds whether it be by wind, water, or hitching a ride on an animal. It’s fun experience to see how seeds are scattered (sowed is the technical term) by taking a sock walk. This nature prompt came from A Kid’s Fall Ecojournal (public library) by Toni Albert, illustrated by Margaret Brandt, a fantastic resource for nature activities for children. Here’s how we tested out this activity in late September along with our current seed sock growing results.

– Books about seeds (reading suggestions below)
– Old socks that fit over shoes
– Sterile potting soil
– A shallow dish or pan
– Water

Autumn seed finding nature activity for kids

Step 1: First, we read a few books about seeds before going on your sock walk. This helped provide context to the day’s adventure. Here’s a booklist of a few we enjoyed reading if you’d like to start this way as well:

Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds on the Move by Joann Early Macken, illustrated by Pam Paparone
A Seed is Sleepy by Dianna Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long
Miss Maples’ Seeds by Eliza Wheeler
Seeds by Ken Robbins
Planting the Wild Garden by Kathryn O. Galbraith, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin


Learning about seedsby going on a sock walk

Step 2: Find some socks that will fit over shoes and pants. The girls used several of their daddy’s old socks that had lost their mate over time. Then, take a trip to a favorite walking path whether it be a dry grassy field, prairie, or meadow. Pull the socks on over your shoes and hike them up as high as they will go and then get walking! It’s a pretty silly experience walking around with socks over your shoes, so be prepared for giggles.

sock walk

Take a sock walk this autumn for seed finding fun

Step 3: It won’t take long until you see lots of little seeds sticking to your socks. Once you’ve finished your walk, take the socks off and admire all your newfound seed friends that decided to hitch a ride on your fluffy feet.

autumn nature exploration for children - sock walk

fall sock walk nature activity

Step 4: When you arrive at home, using a shallow pan or dish, sprinkle sterile potting soil into the container evenly about 3/4 of the way full. Lay your sock on top of the dirt. This would be another good time to look at the seeds up close. Are they all the same or is there a variety of different shapes, colors, and sizes? Once the examination is finished, sprinkle more potting soil over the sock until it is covered. Don’t use too much dirt. One layer is more than enough. Water your seed sock, set it in a sunny window, watch and wait.

watering wild seeds from sock walk

planting a sock full of seeds

Step 5: Continue to water your seed sock whenever it is dry and you might notice sprouts coming out of the dirt where the sock was buried. Those are seeds from the walk that have germinated!

Optional: Place the other sock from your sock walk in another dish as described in step 4 and stick it into the refrigerator for a couple weeks. Most seeds “sleep” during the wintertime and time in the refrigerator would be like a little mini-winter for the seeds. After two weeks are up, take the pan out and set it next to the other seed sock. Keep them both watered and compare how the two grow.

My 6-year-old had such a good time with this project and continues to take care of her seed sock. Who knows what will sprout up over the next several weeks? We can’t wait to find out!


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