Sunflowers are an easy flower for children to grow and make a perfect hands-on experience for little ones to see the full life cycle of a plant. All you need are seeds, a few pots and water.
Did you know the current World Record for the tallest Sunflower is 917cm! Our current record is 396cm. Do you think you could beat either of those records?
The tall, yellow faced flower was originally from North America. However, the Sunflower is now grown all over the world. Native American’s grew the Sunflower as a crop and discovered that it had a multitude of purposes. Including edible seeds, milling for flour, extracting oil to be used in cooking and the flower was (and still is to this day) given as a beautiful gift. They have also inspired many pieces of artwork.
For best results, the best time of year to plant (sow) your Sunflower seeds is April. Sow the seeds in individual pots with multi-purpose compost and water. As their name suggests, the flower loves the sunshine! So, make sure to put your pot in a sunny spot and water regularly.
At the end of May, when you should see your seeds grow a stalk and leaves, its time to move your Sunflower outside. Prep the soil by removing weeds and plant it at the same depth as the plant pot it was in. Water thoroughly and add a bamboo stake for support as your flower grows.
Make sure to water regularly and check to make sure the flower is not being eaten by slugs. Once fully bloomed (11-18 weeks from sowing the seeds) you can cultivate the seeds, dry and store for next year. Sunflowers usually only bloom once. So, if you would like a continuation throughout the summer plant seeds every few weeks or keep them to grow again next year.
Gardening with children is a fantastic learning experience and one which allows the development of a whole set of new skills, something we are implementing within our Sow & Grow programme as part of our educational curriculum, Foundations for the Future.
Every year we host a Sunflower competition every year to encourage families to get outside and grow a Sunflower together. Children benefit from caring for the plant, practising early mathematics as they note its growth and witnessing how (with a little water and love) a tiny seed can grow into a big beautiful flower.
If you missed our Sunflower pack give away, don’t worry. You can still enter our competition by purchasing some Sunflower seeds and downloading our Sunflower chart, here.
Take a photo of you with your amazing sunflower and send it, with your flower’s tallest height, to [email protected] or by tagging us on social media by Monday 8th August 2022.
The tallest Sunflower winner will be announced on Tuesday 9th August 2022 and will receive a bug themed book and games bundle with Books & Pieces!
Our previous record holders were:
2021 Record 396cm: Isaac at Whitwick Day Nursery and Preschool in Coalville
2019 Record 334cm: Rhys at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery and Preschool in Harlow
2018 Record 297cm: Ava at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery and Preschool in Redhill
2017 Record 289cm: Alex at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery and Preschool in Caldecotte
Of course, if you want to set your sights for the ultimate Sunflower goal, the world record for the tallest Sunflower is 917cm!