Sunday, 31 August 2014

Discovering sunflowers

It took us a while to realise that the two long, thick stems growing in our garden came from the sunflower seeds we casually dropped there a few weeks earlier. How amazing that we forgot about them and yet they grew to become two tall, strong plants. 
After its best days were over, I cut one of the flowers off and brought it inside for Finn to take the seeds out. We talked about how birds have a beak shaped a bit like the tweezers we were using to remove the seeds, and that's how they can eat them.

I opened a few of the seeds for us to eat and thought about how sunflower oil is made. We watched a video on Youtube and Finn really wanted to try pressing some seeds to get the oil! He understood from the video that you need a lot of seeds to make a drop of oil.

 I opened more seeds for him to grind using his pestle and mortar. Even though we didn't really get a drop, I hope that our oily fingers, after manipulating the pressed seeds, were enough for him to understand where plant-based oil comes from.

I thought about continuing with this topic since Finn seemed to be enjoying it. I wasn't sure if he was ready to follow directions to make a picture but I gave it a go!

The idea was to trace a circle using the frame from the insets (a Montessori material) and filling it in with black paint using finger prints. While waiting for that to dry, I showed him how to make potato stamps to make the sunflower petals. He tried the stamps but was more interested in covering his paper with yellow paint using a paintbrush. He was really engrossed, trying to fill in every bit of white, so I let him enjoy the process.

He noticed that my picture still had some white showing, but thankfully, he fixed that for me!
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