Eggs: what’s not to love? Not only do they taste delicious in sweet and savoury foods, but their shells can be used for all manner of kiddy craft projects. Sprouting egg heads are a fun, quick, easy and cheap project for bored children – and you can make omelettes when you’re done!
This egg character is sprouting with marigold seeds, which are easy to handle and grow fast, so we can’t wait to see what it will look like when it flowers. Most seeds will sprout in the egg, but choose a plant that is ieasy to grow and handle, and sprouts fast; some varieties we recommend include alfalfa, nasturtiums and pansies. Some steps will require adult assistance, but once the tricky parts are done, the kids can spend ages creating their egg creatures.
1. Take a raw egg and gently tap the top with the back of a spoon until you see cracks forming. Then gently pick a hole in the egg shell, roughly to the size of a 10-cent piece. Empty the yolk and whites out into a bowl (then refridgerate for your omelette), and rinse the empty shell inside and out. Let dry.
2. Next, carefully poke a few drainage holes in the bottom of the egg using a pin or needle.
3. Now hand over to the kids for decoration! Use permanent markers to draw on the egg shells (water-based textas will run when you water it). Other crafty items might appeal, too, such as cotton wool for beards, a piece of ribbon for a scarf, or a scrap of fabric wrapped around as a dress. The mind boggles at the possibilities!
4. When complete, fill the egg shell with potting mix and pat down lightly; we found using a teaspoon to be the easiest method. The dirt should come almost to the top of the egg.
5. Sprinkle a few seeds on top of the dirt, then cover with a very light sprinkling of potting mix.
6. Sit the egg in a small cup, a tealight holder, or on a lump of plasticine, and place on a sunny windowsill. Water gently once a day to keep the soil moist, and, if you’ve used one of the plant varieties noted earlier, you should see sprouts within a week – how satisfying!
For a different take on this project, you could try growing a broad bean in the egg. Just replace the soil with cotton wool, ensuring you have a layer of cotton wool on top of and underneath the seed.