A Sunflower Story – A Journey Into Child Led Learning

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This post is brought to you by: CRAPPY CELL PHONE PICS.


Project work is a large component of the Reggio Approach.  In our home, my son and I work together to create the spirit of cooperation, collaboration, and construction of knowledge.  He shows me his interests, and I follow his lead.  This includes offering provocations that inspire more learning and building upon his current knowledge.

Gardening is something we have been doing together for years.  From preparing the soil, selecting the plants, planting the seeds, and watching them grow to finally harvesting the “crops”.  This year he spotted sunflower seeds at the store, and wanted to plant them – YES!

We observed all the stages of growth, and re-visited them through visuals in our play.


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Once the sunflowers bloomed he asked to cut one down.  YES!

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“I wonder if this thing will float.  Can we take it to the lake and see if it will float or sink?”


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“It’s floating!!”

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“I’m going to throw it into the lake because it’s so beautiful and I want the geese to enjoy it.  They’re gonna be like ‘what the Christmas!?’ when they see that thing floating by.”

(emotional intelligence)

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“Whoa, Mommy!!  My sunflowers are big.  I wonder how tall this one is.  Let’s measure it.”


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I set the easel up outside right next to the sunflowers and invited him to paint.

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Even a dead sunflower is fun!  I had no idea how, when, or where sunflower seeds emerged in sunflowers before this project….so Mommy learned something, too.

(science, fine motor)


We just love how something like a sunflower can provide so many opportunities to learn through play.


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