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SUNFLOWERS

PAPER PLATE SUNFLOWERS
Try one or both of these ideas with your group.
Invite your children to paint the centers of paper plates brown and the rims yellow. When the paint has dried, give them sunflower seeds to glue onto their flower centers.
Cut the centers out of paper plates. Give your children yellow paper petal shapes to glue around the plate rims to create "sunflower masks." Staple a jumbo craft stick handle to the bottom of each mask. Have the children hold their masks so that their faces show through the open centers.

FLANNEL BOARD SUNFLOWERS
Cut five sunflower centers out of brown felt and number them from 1 to 5. Cut 15 sunflower petal shapes out of yellow felt. Place the centers on a flannel board and invite your children to arrange a matching number of petals around each one.

SUNFLOWER MEASURING

Explain that some sunflower stalks grow to be 7 feet tall. Vertically tape a 7-foot piece of green yarn to a wall. Let your children take turns standing next to it and comparing their height to the pretend sunflower stalk.
Make paper sunflowers that are the same height as your children and tape them along a wall. Label the flowers with the children's names. Use the sunflowers to talk about "taller" and "shorter."

 

FOLLOW THE SUN
Explain that sunflowers growing outdoors turn their faces from east to west each day as the sun moves across the sky. During the night, they turn their faces back again. Let your children act this out. Have them take turns being the Sun moving across the pretend sky as the "Sunflowers" follow the Sun's movements with their faces.

TASTY SEEDS
Bring in the head of a sunflower with ripe seeds. Or display a picture of a sunflower and set out edible unshelled sunflower seeds. Help your children crack open the seeds and examine the kernels inside with magnifying glasses. Let them taste the kernels, or give them kernels that are sold ready to eat. Encourage them to sprinkle some seeds outdoors and watch for birds and other creatures to come by for a snack.

PLANTING SUNFLOWER SEEDS
 Find a sunny spot outdoors and help your children plant sunflower seeds according to the packet directions. Let them water and weed their garden, checking frequently to observe their sunflowers as they grow. If you have enough room, you might want to plant several varieties of sunflower seeds so the children can compare the results.
 
SEE THE SUNFLOWERS

Tune: "Skip to My Lou"
 
See the sunflowers all in a row,
See the sunflowers all in a row,
See the sunflowers all in a row,
All in a row, my darling.

Watch the sunflowers grow, grow, grow,
Watch the sunflowers grow, grow, grow,
Watch the sunflowers grow, grow, grow,
Grow in a row, my darling.
Liz Ryerson

 

SUNFLOWER SNACKS
 For each of your children, place a round of wheat bread spread with peanut butter on a small plate for a sunflower center. Let the children sprinkle on sunflower kernels. Then have them arrange mandarin orange slices around the sunflower centers for petals.