Babies love to explore small spaces.  They seem to be on a scale they can relate to.  Sometimes they crawl behind a big chair just to create a space of their own.  We love this video of the sunflower house because it is a family activity that spans a few months in time.  Together, the family plants the sunflower seeds in the path of a circle.  Next they watch the seeds sprout and break the surface of the ground.  The sunflowers grow to be tall strong flowers with their faces looking toward the sun.  As the flowers grow in the circular path a small house is created, just the perfect size for babies and toddlers.  A wonderful outdoor activity for baby is to allow her to crawl around inside the sunflower house.  This becomes a sensory activity for her as she sees the beautiful bright colors and feels the various textures around her.  Babies enjoy the texture of the grass and the flower stalks inside.  Read a few books to her inside this small space.  A blanket may also provide protection if the ground is not soft.


Soon, the flowers begin to look toward the earth as if they are sad or sleepy “like grandpa.”  Invite toddlers to draw or color the flowers on an easel placed inside this tiny house.  The sunflowers’ faces continue looking down as their seeds fall toward the earth.  It is now harvest time.  Toddlers can participate is picking the seeds up off the ground or out of the flowers.  This activity provides excellent fine motor skill development.  Toddlers may participate with a pail and shovel in the planting phase of the house and in the harvest.  They witness a birth and a death as the house is taken down and the ground awaits future seeds.  The entire family shares the life cycle of the sunflower house from planting the seeds to harvesting the flowers.  Plan to include this as an outdoor family activity for next summer!


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