Looking for a fun and engaging way to work on fine motor skills with your students? Why not try using sunflowers?
Plucking sunflower seeds are a great way to help students develop their hand-eye coordination, as well as their dexterity and fine motor skills. This post introduces a wonderful fine motor activity with sunflowers.
Oh, the joy of watching our sunflowers grow this summer! My boys planted these tiny seeds and watched their sunflowers grow to over seven feet tall.
We watched the bumblebees and the honey bees drink nectar and cover their bodies with pollen. Happy to help them on their journey. This fine motor activity takes the learning with sunflowers a step further.
Fine Motor Activity with Sunflowers
We saw the plant sprout, blossom, and bloom. Now we are witnessing the plant coming to the end of its life for this year. We talked about how sunflowers dry up and are able to reproduce for the coming year. Today we did a fine motor activity with the sunflowers.
This work is great for the development of fine motor skills, especially with the older children in your classroom. ALL YOU NEED is a tray, sunflower heads that have dried out [either your own sunflowers or try a local farm], tweezers, and a small bowl for the seeds.
Plus, a bonus: kids love taking home a packet of seeds and parents love hearing about the extraction.
Be sure to “wipe away” the layer above the seeds. Children enjoy this process too. If you were to truly harvest the seeds, you would want to follow more careful instructions about drying the head, cutting the head off, etc.
If the sunflower were “truly” ready to be harvested, you could simply brush them off the head. In this case, we want to children to pluck the seeds out with tweezers so we’re actually using a head that is dry but probably not optimal for planting.
With that said, you never know and we should always encourage children’s sense of awe and wonder.
Check out our favorite books about sunflowers:
- Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown
- Katie and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew
- Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
- From Seed to Sunflower by Gerald Legg