Painting on Seed Pods

Art idea for toddlers or preschoolers – painting on Black Bean seed pods!

We were singing as we strolled to JJ’s new playgroup last week…

“Walking along, looking around
Looking up, looking down
You’ll never know what you’ll see
Look over here, what can it be
What’s that lying on the footpath…”
When we stumbled across… SEED PODS!


They looked like the very same seed pods that I’d seen recently on Mother Natured’s post Nature for Kids: Painting Seed Pods. Google reveals they are Castanospermum Australe seed pods, otherwise known as Black Bean or Moreton Bay chestnuts.

Anyway JJ thought they were awesome. So we picked some up, put them in the back of the pram and brought them home.

At first when I got out the paints, JJ thought we were going to paint WITH the pods, like we did when we painted with things from the backyard a few days earlier. But I thought I’d copy Penny’s idea and paint on them instead; using nature as our canvas.

Apparently, according to JJ anyway, this pose shouts “Ta da!”
A couple of our black stones made their way into our art as well.

I decorated the striped and pig face ones, and JJ did the rest. JJ’s used a classic preschooler technique of dipping her paintbrush into every possible colour and then applying the paint mixture. This usually results in a colour known as “preschooler grey”, but on this occasion it’s actually (sort of) worked out.

JJ decided that the pig face seed pod could be used as a mask. She’s already making plans to use this for roleplay when her cousin next comes over to play.

And then the following day, some of the pods opened up!

She decided that the opened pods were boats, and the seeds were little people. She brought them into the bath with her that night for some more play.

I’ve decided against planting them outside, as they would grow into quite a large tree. But I am tempted to plant them in a pot – apparently they make quite a nice indoor plant. Except then I remember that I have a baby on the verge of walking, who is not really pot plant friendly…

Have you been playing with nature lately? I’d love to hear about it…


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