Inside this post: Our favorite preschool garden activity includes mammoth sunflowers. They are easy to plant, grow quickly, and transfer well outdoors. Plus, they grow really tall, something preschoolers find fascinating!
When I was a new teacher I had no idea where to start when it came to gardening activities. I gardened with my own children, but that seemed easy because it was usually one-on-one. But with 16? It felt a bit daunting. Have you felt this way, too? Somehow I figured out how to put together a sunflower garden project that not only involved all 16 preschoolers, but involved 16 individual cups of seeds being planted and nurtured.
And it’s a hit year after year.
I will admit I don’t recall why I chose mammoth sunflowers, but they have been the easiest and fastest growing plants, year after year. Over the summer I will get emails with photos of the preschoolers standing next to their super tall sunflowers, beaming. They had nurtured their sunflowers every day with love, water, and sunshine. They learned what it was like to taking care of a living thing.
This is why I do this sunflower garden project year after year!
Our Favorite Preschool Garden Activity with Sunflowers
What you will need:
- Mammoth sunflower seeds
- Plastic cups
- Spray bottle
- Bin to hold soil
- Scoop to transfer soil to cup
- Labels to identify the owner of the plant (available towards bottom of this post)
Setting up this sunflower garden project:
- Place soil in a bin along with a scoop.
- Have seeds available in a shallow tray.
- Fill spray bottle with water.
- Place cups near soil.
Before starting, share a book about how seeds grow. We displayed these on our science table along with a model that showed the sequence of a seed’s growth.
Scoop soil into the cup. Poke 2 holes on the top and place a seed in each one. (I have them plant 2 because sometimes one never takes off.) Gently cover the seeds with soil.
Spray soil with water.
I placed plastic wrap on top of ours and set in front of the window. This kept the soil moist and warm. Our preschoolers would give them sprays of water now and then, watching for those first signs of growth.
In one week they looked like this:
I made name labels and taped them to craft sticks, poking them into each cup. I realized afterwards that it would have been easier having the label placed directly on the cup, especially when the cups were covered with plastic wrap.
Since this particular activity, I’ve created new labels that can be taped on the cup. Scroll to the bottom of this post to download your copy!
Now they are ready to be taken home!
Here are some free printable labels that you can use for your sunflower gardening activity:
Bonus! Get a full week of preschool seeds theme lesson plans!
1) Foods With and Without Seeds Shared Writing Recording Sheet
2) Uppercase Alphabet Seed Packet Cards
3) Lowercase Alphabet Seed Cards
4) A to Z Seed Writing Task Cards
5) 1 to 12 Flower Pot Seed Counting Mats
6) Seeds Science Journal
7) Seed Shape Tracing Task Cards
8) Seed Sorting Mat
9) Seed Theme Beginning Sounds Sort (Seeds T, F, C)
10) Seed Sprouting Graph
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