By Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt
(Voyager Books, 1996)
I have been reading tons of picture books lately. At least my back considers the weight of them to be tons as I haul them back and forth to the library.
Sunflower House is a colorful story about a child who plants a sunflower house with his parents. I suppose that is where the name for the book comes from, right?
Father and child first removed grass to make a large circle, leaving the middle of the circle grassy. Seeds were then planted in the soil and the waiting began.
Once the sunflowers began to grow tall, the child invited friends to play in the sunflower house. Eventually, the sunflowers grew so large and wide that the parents no longer fit inside and the flower house became a kids-only place to enjoy nature.
I love the idea of creating a fun space for children by planting sunflowers. I am considering it for this summer…if I can find a place that my husband won’t mind too much if the grass is removed and seeds upon seeds will eventually fall and resprout next spring!
Plant a Sunflower House
Materials: sunflower seeds, large area to plant, yard tools
1. Read Sunflower House. Once you see the pictures you will know how to plant one.
2. Choose a sunny location for your sunflower house. They love the sun. Remove grass to form a ring of dirt around a circle of grass. Make your ring at least 4 feet in diameter. Sunflowers get HUGE!
3. Plant seeds in the dirt. Water them and wait.
4. Once the seeds have sprouted, watch them grow. You can pull weeds but only after you make sure you are not pulling up sunflowers.
5. After the sunflowers are as tall as you, the house is ready for play. Of course, it will keep growing, especially if you have planted JUMBO sunflowers.
6. What to do inside a sunflower house?
– rest on your back and look at the sky
– watch birds that flock to eat the seeds
– listen to the bees buzzing as they pollinate the flowers
– have a picnic in the sunflower house
– invite friends over to play
– campout overnight in the sunflower house
– look for insects that live in and around the flowers
– draw your sunflowers or the sunflower house
– use a magnifying glass to look really close at the plants and animals
– take photos of your house
Isn’t that a fun project? What will you grow next summer?
Thanks for reading!