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A Sunflower Theme for Preschool

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/6/2012

Late August or September is the perfect time for a sunflower theme in your preschool. Giant and sunny flowers are abloom this time of year, and preschoolers will love making sunflower crafts and eating yummy sunflower seed butter sandwiches.

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    A sunflower unit is just the thing for a late summer preschool thematic unit. Sunflowers are huge, yellow, and full of tasty sunflower seeds. Your students will enjoy learning about these larger than life flowers. Bring in a mature sunflower. Show students how big they are and where the seeds are in the sunflower plant. Show students how to shake the seeds out of a sunflower. Take a little snack break and try some roasted sunflower seeds. The following activities include sunflower crafts to use in or out of the classroom.

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    Sunflower Seed Butter Sandwiches

    Objective:

    • Students will practice fine motor skills by spreading sunflower seed butter using a plastic knife.
    • Students will practice the concept of one to one correspondence.

    You will need:

    sunflower seed butter

    slices of bread

    napkins

    plastic knives

    Procedure:

    This makes a great small group activity.

    Ask one child to give one napkin to each child. Napkins with pictures of sunflowers would be especially nice. Another child can give out the plastic knives, while a third child can give out the slices of bread. Talk about how sunflowers are used to make sunflower seed butter by grinding them up. Explain that there are sunflower seeds in the spread. Take each child's knife and put some sunflower seed butter on it. Each student will spread their butter on their bread. Now for the fun part, everyone gets to try out this tasty snack.

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    Make a Sunflower

    Objective:

    • Students will practice fine motor skills.
    • Students will identify the colors yellow and green.

    You will need:

    yellow construction paper

    green construction paper

    glue

    real sunflower seeds in the shell

    scissors

    small paper plates

    Procedure:

    Teacher Prep for the sunflower crafts:

    With a black marker, trace large petals on yellow construction paper. You will need 8-10 petals per sunflower.

    Cut 2 X 11 inch strips of green construction paper for the stems. Cut out 2 large, green leaves for each sunflower.

    Students will glue the yellow petals around the small paper plate. Next, give each student a handful of sunflower seeds and have them glue the seeds inside the plate. Glue the 2 leaves to the stem. Finally, glue the stem to the flower.

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    Plant a Flower

    Planting sunflowers is a great way to watch a plant grow from a seed. Sunflowers are fast-growing and very hearty.

    Objective:

    • Students will participate in planting a seed.
    • Students will learn the factors necessary for growing a plant: water, sunlight, soil, and seeds.

    You will need:

    packets of sunflower seeds

    potting soil

    a large pot

    scoop or small shovel

    a small, child-sized watering can full of water

    Procedure:

    This is a classroom project. Plant the sunflower inside your classroom, so the children can watch the sunflower grow right in the room. You'll need a sunny window for this to grow to maturity, as sunflowers need a lot of light.

    Show the students a packet of sunflower seeds. Explain that although the seed is very small, it will grow into a very large plant. Show the picture of the sunflower on the packet. If you have access to a real sunflower, bring it to school and show your students. Pull out the seeds and show that this is the part that we eat. Taste some hulled and roasted sunflower seeds. Discuss the things that are needed for a plant to grow: water, sunlight, soil, and seeds.

    To plant the sunflower seeds:

    Use a large Terra cotta pot. Have students take turns scooping potting soil into the pot with a scoop or small shovel. Several students can poke a hole in the soil with their fingers. Others will place the seeds in the holes. Cover the seeds with soil, and have several students sprinkle a small amount of water into the pot to water the seeds. Finally place the pot in a sunny window. The plant can be watched over the next couple of weeks for signs of sprouting and growing. Keep your classroom sunflower watered regularly, and see how big your sunflower plant will grow.

    Gour school year will be off to a sunny start!