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Kindy Sunflower Project back to spark passion for gardening

17 August 2017

Kindy Sunflower Project back to spark a passion for gardening!

Meadowbank Kindergarten’s shot of Lila with sunflowers won the 2015 Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Best Photo Award. This year’s project kicks off on 21 August.

An amazing 11,612 kindy kids around New Zealand will be cultivating their gardening skills whilst competing with other kindergartens in their region to grow the tallest sunflower or widest sunflower head.

The 2017 Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project kicks off on this Monday 21 August and runs until Wednesday 06 December, with winners announced 08 December. This is the fourth time Daltons has run their popular Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project, which now operates on a biennial basis.

There are 220 kindergartens taking part in the project through ten kindergarten associations across New Zealand in Auckland, Central North Island, Christchurch, Dunedin, Marlborough, Nelson, Taranaki, Tauranga, Waikato and Wellington.

Each kindergarten has been sent a Daltons starter pack with everything the children need to grow their own Kings Seeds Skyscraper sunflowers, which have the potential to grow up to 4 metres high. The tallest sunflower ever grown in the project’s history was a massive 3.12 metres tall, and a previous sunflower grew through the roof of a kindergarten deck, much to the delight of the little gardeners.

The project is not just about the competition - children will learn valuable gardening skills and knowledge; like sowing seeds, caring for seedlings, planting them out in the garden and daily care of their plant. The project also offers a range of activities and learning opportunities that teachers can integrate into aspects of the early childhood education curriculum.

Daltons General Manager, Colin Parker, is thrilled with the return of the project this year, and cannot wait to see what the kids produce.

“These youngsters are our future gardeners and we want to nurture them from the get-go. The competition aspect adds a little extra fun to the project for the children, but we are more focused on creating opportunities to spark a lifelong love of gardening. Getting them out in the garden and growing their own sunflower is a fantastic way for these children to build confidence through hands on experience and learn about the wonders of plants.”

New to the project this year is The Warehouse, who have partnered up with Daltons to kindly provide prizes to each of the winning kindergartens with the tallest sunflower and the widest sunflower in their region. Not to worry for those who haven’t grown the tallest or widest, as each participating kindergarten will go in the draw to win a gardening workshop, featuring media personality and award-winning landscaper Xanthe White. At the end of the project, kindergartens will also nominate their “Daltons best little gardener,” to receive a certificate and their very own prize pack, courtesy of Daltons.

Regularly throughout the project teachers are sent information about sunflowers, learning sheets and fun activities to share with the children to incite their creativity and learning.


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