Harvest your sunflower seeds and use them for sensory play and a sunflower discovery lesson.
Sunflower seed sensory play
As our sunflower-themed activities draw to a close at the end of the growing year our sunflowers give us one final treat – their seeds, and we can use them to make a sunflower seed sensory tub.
An invitation to explore sunflowers
You can set up an interesting invitation to explore sunflowers which allows children to look up close and see the full cycle of how sunflowers grow.
:: sunflower heads, those with flowers and those already gone to seed
:: a magnifying glass
:: small tongs or tweezers
:: your sunflower nature journals
:: pens and pencils
Invite your children to use the magnifying glass to look up close at the sunflower seed heads. What can they see? They can sketch their observations in their sunflower nature journals. (from the Sunflower School printables pack)
Look at your drawings and photographs from when you planted your sunflower seeds in the spring, and talk about the link between those seeds and the ones you can see in your sunflower heads.
A sunflower sensory tub
Use your fingers or the tongs and tweezers to pick some of the sunflower seeds out of the flower heads. This is a wonderful fine-motor skills activity and you can gather all the seeds up into a sunflower sensory tub.
Add scoops, spoons, funnels and containers and enjoy some sunflower sensory play.
Saving sunflower seeds for next year
To save your sunflower seeds for next spring’s planting it is best to store them in paper bags, rather than plastic.
You can use the pretty printable seed packet (from the Sunflower School printables pack) to store yours.
Sunflowers heads produce so many seeds that you’ll end up with many more seeds than you need for your own garden, so why don’t you package them up and sell them as a fundraiser for your school garden? Print the seed envelopes, add your class or school name, and hold a sunflower sale.
Sunflower School curriculum and printables
The Sunflower School curriculum matches a full programme of learning to the natural growing cycle of sunflowers.
It gives you six units of learning:
:: In the spring we’ll focus on planting and watching our plants grow.
:: In the summer we’ll learn about bees and pollination, and celebrate the gorgeous blooms through art.
:: In the late summer and early autumn we’ll turn our attention to harvesting, sustainability, and closing of the growing year.
Bonus sunflower printables
Our Sunflower School curriculum comes with 30 pages of bonus printables that you can use with your children to enrich their learning, including:
- My Sunflower Journal printable
- Lined, plain, and half-and-half journal pages
- Sunflower poems printable
- Sunflower sticker sheet
- Printable plant labels
- Sunflower counting mat
- Sunflower addition mat
- Sunflower subtraction mat
- Sunflower word mats
- Bee number cards
- Bee writing and scissor skills pages
- Garden Creatures page
- Honeycomb alphabet
- Printable seed packets