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  • Writer's pictureRifke Hill

Nature Activities for Kids – How to Press and Preserve Seaweed In 10 Easy Steps

Preserving seaweed is incredibly simple and wonderfully rewarding. You can use pressed seaweed to:

  • develop an understanding of your local waters,

  • study the structure and diversity of marine flora,

  • create beautiful art to display on your wall.

Collecting and preserving seaweed with your kids is a brilliant natural learning initiative. It’s easy to do, and while you’re doing it you can teach your kids about marine biodiversity, ocean pollution and recycling, issues of global warming and climate change, and how this impacts the marine environment. Learning from nature really helps to make the subject matter relevant and memorable to a child, and outdoor play, particularly in natural playscapes, develops patience, creativity, co-ordination and muscle tone. Pressing seaweed will work on a small child’s fine motor skills and give an older child the chance to practice their artistic eye, providing a creative outlet for both.


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How to preserve seaweed by pressing.

You will need:

  • An assortment of freshly collected seaweed

  • Heavy paper, such as 140lb watercolor paper

  • Shallow rectangular bucket or pan, large enough to fit your paper in

  • Freshwater or seawater

  • Wax paper or plastic film

  • Old newspapers

  • Waterproof marker

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Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place the paper at the bottom of the pan and fill the pan with water.

  2. Lay the seaweed on the paper. The idea here is to let the seaweed drift into a natural formation across the paper.

  3. Carefully lift out paper and seaweed.

  4. Rearrange any bits that aren’t quite right.

  5. Place the wet paper on some layers of newspaper and cover with a sheet of wax paper or plastic film.

  6. Use a waterproof marker to write down date, location seaweed was found, type of seaweed, who collected it, or any other pertinent information, onto the cover.

  7. Layer up your seaweed, paper, and plastic or wax paper cover sandwiches into a stack. Make sure the stack is on a flat surface and weigh it down with books, rocks or anything else heavy.

  8. Change the newspapers and wax paper (if used) daily, until the seaweed is dry. A fan blowing onto the stack may speed up the process.

  9. Glue down any loose bits of seaweed.

  10. Your pressed, preserved seaweed is ready to enjoy!

Collecting Seaweeds with kids

Pressed seaweed in the form of handmade albums or framed artworks make beautiful, unique eco friendly gifts – especially for someone who is passionate about the ocean.

Relish every moment of spending time in nature with your child as you collect and lay out the seaweed. Allow yourself to forget about your daily worries, relax, be in the moment, and enjoy simple childlike pleasures.

How to Press and Preserve Seaweed In 10 Easy Steps

Written by Rifke Hill


About the Author

Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.

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