The sky’s the limit

Otumoetai Kindy head teacher Summer Ioelu with pupils Sol Gardiner and William Hanlon.

Right now they may just be small sprouts, but sky-high glorious sunflowers will be dispersed across the Otumoetai Kindergarten garden in a few months’ time.

Kindergarten pupils at Otumoetai are enthusiastically launching into the 2019 Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project which started on Monday.

The project involves 13 kindergartens in Tauranga competing to see who can grow the tallest sunflower or widest sunflower head. 765 children are taking part across all the kindergartens involved.

Otumoetai Kindergarten head teacher Summer Ioelu says each student has individually planted their sunflowers.

She says the kids are so excited about the project they water their pots daily despite the heavy rain this week.

“Every time we bring out the sunflowers, the kids ask to plant another one.

“It’s just a cool experience because they get to look after their sunflower and watch it grow. It teaches kids about gardening and looking after the environment which is awesome too.”

The pupils will be planting the sprouted sunflowers in the kindergarten garden over the next few week’s where they will hopefully thrive.

This project will help children expand their gardening knowledge around sowing seeds, germination, caring for seedlings, planting them out and daily care of their plant.

They will also be exposed to basic math concepts like measuring and recording their plant’s growth each week.

Daltons general manager Colin Parker says the competition element of the project brings excitement and fun for the children, but what’s at the heart of the project is their mission to ignite a passion for gardening.

“If these children take a love of gardening home and it inspires their family to start a vegetable or flower garden, then that’s the real success of the project for us.”

Regional winners with the tallest sunflower or sunflower with the widest head will receive prizes from Daltons and The Warehouse, and all participating kindergartens will go into the draw to win a gardening workshop at their kindergarten.

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