Popping Poppy Seeds Pods
Happy toddler collecting dried poppy seed pods.

I really love poppies. You know in the fall or spring when you wander into the garden center for some bulbs, there’s always something you can’t resist? For me, it’s a package of poppy seeds. Nothing beats their vibrant color! They hardly bloom for more than a few days, but they’re prolific and when one loses its petals to a hard rain, another is shortly on the way. But as much as I love the flowers, I think my kids love the seed pods even more.

Seeds spilled on the sidewalk. Oops.

The red poppies and violet poppies growing in my yard reseed themselves quite nicely. They’ve been coming back year after year, even though we always collect the seeds pods and then forget to sprinkle them around the garden. (Poppy seeds generally like to overwinter in your garden.) We have, however, gifted a few tablespoons of seeds to our neighbor’s mother, who also loves poppies.

At our house, we like to collect the brown, dried pods for a few weeks, and then open a whole bunch of seed pods at once. It’s not necessarily an activity with a purpose, we just put them into a jar. But it’s fun, it gives the kids a way to be involved in the garden clean-up, and it’s cool to see how many tiny seeds are in each pod.

Maybe this year we’ll sprinkle our collected seeds into homemade plantable paper to give as teachers’ gifts, or make our own child-illustrated seed packets to give away.

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