Learning and Playing With Helicopter Seeds
Today we're sharing ways to learn and play with Helicopter Seeds!
If you live in a region where maple trees grow you might be familiar with the fan blade shaped seeds they drop, commonly referred to as helicopter seeds. Maybe you like them, or maybe they're a giant pain. Either way, they are all over the place so you might as well have some fun with them! Here are some ways we've been enjoying them:
Throwing and Catching
Of course it's only natural, and it might not seem like much but throwing those little buggers into the air makes for some easy gross motor skills development. Ladybug had an absolute blast throwing them and trying to catch them.
Fill and Spill
Who needs special toys when you've got an unlimited number of helicopter seeds to collect and
dump over and over!? This is great for developing those small muscles in the hand since the seeds are somewhat delicate and unbalanced.
Why not take a look around the yard or neighborhood and explore all the different items you can find? This activity can be adjusted to any age. Make it a scavenger hunt, a contest or just a leisurely walk with a bucket to carry your items. Ladybug is fascinated with helicopter seeds and the tiny pine cones in our front yard but we easily overlook simple things like blades of grass and even weeds. We had fun taking a closer look at these items.
Pictures with Nature
We took out collection and headed in to sit at the table to make some crafts. The helicopter seeds reminded me of sunflower petals so that is what we made but for older kids they obviously could come up with their own ideas of what to make. A little bit of glue plus the tiny pine cones, helicopter seeds, a long blade of grass and some ivy leaves were all we needed to make this picture.
In fact, Ladybug looked as we glued on the helicopter seeds and noticed that it started to resemble a lion's mane, so we went with that and made a lion. I found a tutorial online of how to draw a lion and let her add the glue and seeds. Not bad and lots of fun to see how it turned out! She was very proud!
Grab your sidewalk chalk and write out your numbers, it's a counting challenge! We just started doing fun games like this with Ladybug, she loves to count and we're just starting with the basics. You could do numbers, or draw circles for your little one to place the seeds in, or even math problems!
Letters and Spelling
This is another skill we are just starting with Ladybug, but could have started sooner. You can use the seeds to make single letters or use them to spell out whole words. I will say, we tried this on a breezy day and they didn't always stay put. If this will frustrate your child you might want to skip it until the wind dies down.
These little seeds are perfect for working on life skills like transferring using a spoon, chop stick, tongs or whatever you think your child can hande. We have these fun tweedlers from American Science Surplus that were just right for us. This kept Ladybug busy for quite some time. We don't leave these tools out so when we bring them out it feels fresh and interesting to her.
Helicopter Seeds Ideas From Around the Web
Here are some super fun ways to enjoy Helicopter Seeds from others:
ThriftyFun.com makes Helicopter Seed Bats
ButterAndSugar makes Turkey Place Cards
Newlyweds can use them instead of confetti
FowlSingleFile makes some awesome Seed Dragonflies
WillowHavenOutdoor says you can even eat the green ones
That's it for me! Do you have lots of Helicopter Seeds where you live? Why not pin the image above to keep these ideas handy! Share it with your friends so everyone can join in the fun! Follow us on facebook for more fun ideas!
What a coincidence to see this as my son went on a nature hunt earlier to collect items for a collage We picked up loads of these and I wasn’t sure what they were called! I must learn more about trees…
Ha, they are everywhere around our house, big ones and small ones, young green ones and old dry yellow ones. I believe they are maple trees. People refer to the seeds as helicopters or whirly gigs. I’d love to hear if you have any other fun ways to use them! 🙂
What fun ideas!! I loved those what I called helicopters growing up! We had three big trees that they came from and would just spend tons of time out in the yard watching them fly
Hi Emmy, thanks so much for the comment and for stopping by! Yes they are so fun to watch!
Lots of great ideas! I’ll be featuring this on The Sunday Showcase this weekend. 🙂
Allison, thank you soo much! Thanks for the kind words AND the feature spot! Have a great weekend!
Fabulous list of ideas. We love playing with the helicopters in the fall. Thanks so much for linking up to the Outdoor Play Party!
This is a great list of ideas! We have so many of these around our house, so we will have to try this! Thanks for linking up at Tender Moments!!
Love the sunflower and lion – I’ve gotta remember that one for this fall. Thanks for sharing the ideas and for linking to my dragonflies!
Love these ideas! Thanks for linking up to the Daily Outdoors Challenge. We’re definitely going to need to try this!
How fun! We are featuring your post tomorrow on Share It Saturday! Thanks for linking up 🙂
Colleen at Sugar Aunts
Love this post. Using what you have available and getting so many lessons out of those twirly little things. So creative, and fun!