Growing Sunflowers Is Easy & Fun!

Sunflower ChallengeWho can grow a great big sunflower from a tiny little seed? Everyone can! Start seedlings in the classroom to learn about sprouting and growth. Then send a seed packet home with each student. When students send in a photo of themselves with their own home-grown, blooming sunflowers, they receive a prize! A classroom and family favorite year after year.
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Sunflower Champions


Care Info: Sunflower Challenge Kit

Grow a small one, grow a tall one. Growing sunflowers is easy and fun! Here at Earth’s Birthday Project, our job is to inspire wonder, learning and care for our Earth. We developed the Sunflower Challenge to give students hands-on learning about plants.

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1. Gather seed containers. You can use small paper cups, egg cartons, seed trays, seed plugs or small “cups” made from folded newspaper. Fill each one about 2/3 full with potting soil or seed starting mix. Place a seed in each cup. Push the seed down into the soil about 1/2 inch and cover over. If you are using clear plastic cups, place the seed at the side of the cup and push it down along the inside surface. You’ll be able to watch roots and leaves develop right through the cup.

2. Keep your seeds moist. Water them by using a spray bottle, mister or a watering can with a diffuser spout. A direct pour of water from a cup or can will cause the seed and soil to move around. Give them enough water to keep the soil moist but not so much that there is water standing at the bottom of the container.

3. Place seed containers in a safe location where they can receive lots of light but won’t be moved or knocked over easily.

4. Your sunflowers should start to grow in just 3-10 days, depending on classroom temperature. Keep them happy, healthy and growing in your classroom until after the last frost date in your area. Then transplant them to a new home in the ground or a pot outside, where they can grow to their full height. Sunflowers do best in a sunny location,
when temperatures are warm and days are long.

5. Send home a seed packet and A Note to Families with each child in your classroom. They can participate in the Sunflower Challenge at home by growing their own sunflowers and sending in a picture when their flowers bloom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the prize? Students receive something from our treasure trove of earth-friendly gifts.

Can I do this activity at school? Yes! Grow a small field of flowers in your school yard and take a picture of each student next to the blooming plant they nurtured. Mail, email or fax the photos with a list of student names, and Earth’s Birthday Project will send prizes for you to distribute.

What do you do with the photos? We do not publish photos without written permission from parents. We save them for a few years in our archives to document the activity for our auditors, and then we destroy them.

Where do I send the photos?

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Address: Earth’s Birthday Project
PO Box 1536
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1536
Fax: 505-984-9176

Simple Science: Sunflowers

Ready to learn more about sunflowers? Get your students observing, counting, reading, writing and drawing with these free downloads.

Sunflower Anatomy

Simple Science: Sunflower Anatomy

Learn all the parts of your sunflowers, from seed to bloom! Worksheet and answer key. Understanding the parts of a plant will help the students describe and draw what they see as the sunflowers grow and bloom.
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Sunflower Experiments

Simple Science: 9 Easy Sunflower Sprout Experiments

A great group of sunflower seed activities, appropriate for all ages. What do the seeds need to sprout and grow? What helps them grow strong? What doesn’t? These easy experiments can help students to ask basic scientific questions and follow simple science procedures. Give them a try!
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Observe Sunflower Seeds

Simple Science: Sunflower Seed Observe & Draw

Students build their observation skills by seeing every detail of a sunflower seed and recording their observations.
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Observe Sunflower Sprouts

Simple Science: Sunflower Sprout Observe & Draw

Students build their observation skills by carefully looking at your sunflower sprouts, then drawing and describing their observations.
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Fun Stuff: Sunflowers

Here are some sunflower-related activities just for fun!

Sunflowers Small & Tall

Fun Stuff: Sunflowers, From Small to Tall

Don’t just read a book… make your own! Color, cut and fold. Then share with friends and family.
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Sunflower Songs & Dances

Fun Stuff: Sunflower Songs & Dances

Sunflowers can inspire you to sing, dance and even do a little stretch! A nice way to introduce something a little different to your classroom.
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Sunflower Coloring

Fun Stuff: Sunflower Coloring

Get out the crayons and colored pencils, spark your imagination and start coloring beautiful sunflowers.
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Sunflower Word Scramble

Fun Stuff: S*U*N*F*L*O*W*E*R*S Word Scramble

What’s a word scramble? A fun way to work with letters! Instructions and template for printing out the word S*U*N*F*L*O*W*E*R*S. Students cut out letters, then see how many smaller words they can form from the vowels and consonants available. If you have older students, challenge them to make sentences as well!
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Sunflower Champions


Earth's Birthday Project | PO Box 1536 Santa Fe, NM 87504 | 505 986 6040 | 800 698 4438 |