Grow, Grow, Grow

Felt FlowerGrow, Grow, Grow

My morning walk to work is now punctuated with beautiful bright flashes of orange and white from the snowdrops and crocuses stretching for the sky. The first sign that spring is on its way – although I believe there’s snow forecast for this weekend again! Anyway, now is the perfect time to start gathering your tools and equipment for class growing projects. They are a great way to teach children about basic gardening, what plants need to survive – light, water, food and heat – the responsibility of taking care of a living thing and what they can do to help their local wildlife. Read on for a simple but highly effective teaching idea.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of the simplest plants to grow. They are cheap, colourful and it’s fun for the children to see a flower that’s taller than them. They should be sown early in March or April; so you’ve time to get organised. You’ll need:

Pots – re-use old paint tubs or disposable plastic cups. Don’t forget to put a small hole in the bottom so that they don’t get waterlogged.

Soil

Lolly sticks to write the names of the children on

Organic plant food

Watering can or jug

Bamboo canes

Plant the seeds and keep them in a warm, sunny position. Water and feed regularly, but don’t over-do it! As the sunflowers start to grow tall support them with a bamboo cane to stop them falling over.

Bug TemplatesWhat can we learn?

As the plants begin to grow there’ll be plenty of projects the children can do, such as:

- Weekly measuring of the plants to record growth and change. The children can compare their growth to that of the sunflower.

- Show how plants are structured with the help of our Big Felt Flower.

-Ask them to record the wildlife they see visiting the sunflowers, which could lead to another lesson on insects using our mini wooden bug templates.

- Photograph the plants so children can keep a visual record of the progress of the sunflower in a scrap book along with other drawings and work related to the project.

- Touch and smell the leaves and flowers as they grow to experience the textures and aromas of the sunflower.

- Make pictures of the sunflowers using paint, crayons, chalks, plus all the usual suspects such as glitter, sand, feathers and so on.

- Show how the sunflower moves to follow the sun and explain why and how this happens.

- Show the children that they can eat the fruits of their labour when the seeds are ready or save them to plant the next year.

These are just some ideas – the list of potential learning opportunities goes on and on. And, you don’t only have to use sunflowers, there are a multitude of other easy to grow plants that you can use such as cress, herbs, marigolds, nasturtiums, etc.

Don’t forget this month’s special offers are still available.

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