Kids at Home 'Goes Green' October: Let's grow Sunflowers!
Kids at Home Wellington
Natural resources or Ngā rawa ā Māori help children to develop an appreciation and understanding of the natural world (animals and plants), develop a sense of curiosity, share in the collection of materials for play and also develop a desire to experiment.
So what better time than National Gardening week to engage in an activity with natural resources with our Tamariki! Today at Tawa Playgroup, Wellington we planted SUNFLOWERSSSSS!!! We asked our Tamariki to put gloves before beginning to work with the hand tools to transfer soil into their pots - so much fun!
Our Visiting Teachers Sharlene and Kristen along side Kids at Home Educators and Nannies supported the children in their activity by encouraging discussion about the natural resources; "how does the soil feel in your hands?", "can you pinch the seed to place into the soil", "I think you are doing a fantastic job using your trowel to move the soil".
Sharing knowledge of the activity at hand is also important, what can we share with the children about the purpose for planting our Sunflower seeds? The use of magnifying glasses, containers with germinated seeds, posters and books are all wonderful resources to captivate a young mind and illustrate the process of growing a seed. We look forward to hearing how our Educators and Nannies continue this learning opportunity within the home environment!
After planting their sunflower seed we placed a coloured stick into each pot with the child's name on it before the children took them home to nurture and grow with their Educator/Nanny.
Great work team! We look forward to seeing and hearing about the progress of your special projects!
Here are some glorious facts about Sunflowers, because we believe in our programme being a learning experience for not only our Tamariki but also adults!
- Sunflowers were cultivated in North America as far back as 3000 BCE, when they were developed for food, medicine, dye and oil.
- Sunflowers need a lot of rays and room. The flowers not only look like the sun, they also require a lot of it! Six to eight hours a day is wonderful, but more is even better! Sunflowers can grow as tall as 16 feet, when planted too close together they will compete and not blossom to their full potential.
- Sunflowers track the sun, displaying a behaviour called heliotropism. This is where the flower buds and young blossoms will face east in the morning and follow the sun as the earth moves during the day.
- The oil of a Sunflower is rich in minerals like calcium and iron. It also contains vitamin A and vitamin D.
- Sunflowers are the symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration.